It is a pleasure to introduce you to the new Parkview Osteopathic Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program in Pueblo, Colorado. This is an initiative of Parkview Medical Center in collaboration with Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Palliative Care (SdCHPC) and Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine/Rocky Mountain Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institutions (OPTI). By combining the faculty and curriculum development strengths of these institutions a variety of inpatient and outpatient training opportunities, a diverse patient base, commitment and enthusiasm from the faculty and institutions, we will be able to create an outstanding fellowship program.
We strive to provide a challenging yet supportive atmosphere, where autonomy and supervision are in dynamic balance. We are committed to producing well-trained fellows who will constantly pursue excellence. This program is truly a unique training opportunity in a beautiful location, fueled by a proactive and collaborative team spirit with a passion for care for both seriously ill and dying patients.
Primary Training Locations
Parkview Medical Center is a 350 bed hospital with busy ICU, neuro-trauma ICU, a Level II trauma Center, Neurosurgery and CV Surgery, a full range of medicine specialists, and an accredited osteopathic Internal Medicine Residency Program. The Parkview Palliative Medicine Service is a young but explosively growing inpatient consultation service, led by an experienced fellowship-trained physician, which performs consultations throughout the hospital. It has the strong support of the medical staff, and serves a diverse range of patients, illnesses, at all stages of disease. Parkview Administration strongly and consistently supports both the Palliative Medicine service and the Fellowship Program.
Sangre de Cristo Hospice is a well-respected hospice in the community which serves over 250 people in 9 counties in home, SNF, and ALF settings, and has a busy 10-bed inpatient hospice unit. There is also an active home Palliative Care Program including a nurse practitioner and a social worker. A long-established hospice with an outstanding reputation and a commitment to education, Sangre de Cristo Hospice will be a great place to learn about hospice, the Medicare Hospice benefit, and caring for patients approaching the end of their lives.
Approximately half of the fellowship will consist of working as a member of the Parkview Palliative Medicine team, which will serves as the core of the training program Over the course of the year, the fellows will be trained to gradually take on a central role as they evaluate patients, lead team meetings, and develop plans of care for the entire spectrum of seriously ill patients. Working closely with the entire interdisciplinary palliative medicine team will allow them to gain increasing confidence in caring for all aspects of the patient.
Approximately twelve weeks will be spent with Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Palliative Care. The fellow will act as medical director for a hospice IDG, and manage both inpatients and home hospice patients under the supervision of the medical director.
Other rotations will grant exposure and knowledge about a range of closely related fields to help the fellow be well-rounded.
There will be regularly scheduled didactic sessions with the Fellowship Director, the fellows themselves, and others. These will cover the entire spectrum of palliative medicine, from intensive communication training, practice, and feedback, to management of difficult pain syndromes in advanced cancer.
There will be a weekly longitudinal outpatient clinic, which will allow the fellows to follow patients over time.
The fellows will be expected to be active participants in building the Parkview Palliative Medicine service and in promoting palliative medicine principles throughout the hospital There will be opportunities to become involved in committees, QAPI projects, and more. In addition, the fellow will be strongly encouraged to take advantage of the multiple opportunities for involvement in research and publication.
Parkview Medical Center is located in beautiful Pueblo, Colorado. A remarkably safe and charming small city on the beautiful Arkansas river, Pueblo boasts a surprising degree of amenities, activities, and culture. It is within easy driving distance of Colorado Springs, Denver, skiing, hiking, whitewater rafting and multiple other spectacular mountain destinations that people come thousands of miles to visit. Despite all that, it keeps a small-town charm, has minimal traffic, has a low cost of living, and a low violent crime rate. Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of the beautiful area, and will have ample time to enjoy it.
Dr. Marlow Sloan is a native of Pueblo who attended CU Medical School and obtained training in Internal Medicine and Hematology at the University of New Mexico. He returned to Pueblo in 1982 to practice Medical Oncology, having been recruited by Parkview Medical Center. In 1984 he helped to start Sangre de Cristo Hospice and has served as its Medical Director since its inception. In 2004 Dr. Sloan retired from his Medical Oncology practice and has continued as Medical Director for hospice. During this time Sangre de Cristo Hospice and Palliative Care has grown with opening of an in-patient unit (Joni Fair Hospice House) and satellite offices in Canon City, Walsenburg, Trinidad, Fowler and Raton, New Mexico. Dr. Sloan has worked to promote palliative care among physicians and health-care providers, as well as the community. In 2013 he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Colorado Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. In the good old days Dr. Sloan climbed some of Colorado’s Fourteeeners, ran marathons, and played golf.
Now he resides in Westcliffe where his wife delights in gardening and they tend a menagerie of pets, including mules, donkeys, a llama, hens, plus five dogs and two cats!
Dr. Lauren Smith attended medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV and obtained training in Internal Medicine. She then completed residency at Memorial Hospital in York, Pennsylvania, where she gained inpatient hospitalist and rehabilitation experience before coming to Parkview to complete her Osteopathic Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship. In her spare time Dr. Smith enjoys hiking with her dogs as well as pheasant hunting.
Other Physicians: The fellows will likely work closely with additional hospice physicians at Sangre de Cristo Hospice and on other rotations. Multiple other physicians at Parkview (and outside,) including the intensivists, oncologists, and residency faculty, will also assist in teaching the fellows. These include DO’s who will be able to assist in implementing the multiple strategies of osteopathy to maximizing patients’ quality of life.
Other Professionals: All the members of both the hospice and Parkview Palliative Medicine team, including social workers, nurse practitioners, nurses, grief counselors, and even aides will be key in training the fellows in what it means to be an outstanding palliative medicine physician.
Other Fellows: each fellow will be expected to be involved in teaching residents and giving presentations, and to learn from each other.
Note that this schedule is not final, and may be adjusted to meet the specific interests or needs of each fellow.
Hospice: 3 x 4 week blocks
Inpatient Palliative Medicine Service: 6 x 4-week blocks
Combined Palliative Medicine: 2 x 4 week blocks. The fellow will spend at least 50% of the time doing palliative medicine consultation service as above. They will spend up to 50% of their time in specific other duties. 2-3 afternoons each week will be spent in an interventional pain management setting [with Dr Furman] and 1 day each month doing CHF clinic or similar. Other specific duties may be assigned. The remainder of the time will be used either for research or to do palliative medicine consults. The fellow may take up to 5 weekdays off at a time during one of these blocks.
-Elective Time: 2 x 4 week blocks, one of which must be an entire 4-week block. The other may be divided into blocks no shorter than 1 week, with 1 week vacation time. Available rotations include Oncology, Pulmonary/ICU, Nephrology, Cardiology and Neurology. 1 week of pediatric/neonatal palliative medicine may be possible.
-Longitudinal Hospice Rotation: The fellow will spend half-day each week for the entire year doing home or nursing home visits on hospice patients they are following as attending. These will be picked up either from their hospice or palliative rotations. They will see these patients monthly and PRN. Some may be followed while on the AIM program as well. Visits are encouraged to be arranged with the hospice nurses. The fellow will be expected to do a minimum of 2 visits each week, growing over the year as time allows.
While the fellow will be expected to work hard when on duty, being well-rounded is important, and the schedule is not onerous. The resident will normally work Monday to Friday, varied but not excessive hours. The fellow will not work more than 1 in 4 weekends (usually none), and when call is required it is from home and generally is mild. The fellow is encouraged to enjoy the 4 weeks vacation, and many evenings and weekends off enjoying beautiful Colorado.