ARIF KAMAL, MD, MBA, MHS
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
POPULATION HEALTH SCIENCES MEMBER IN THE DUKE CLINICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE & OF THE DUKE CANCER INSTITUTE, DUKE UNIVERSITY
Arif Kamal MD, MBA, MHS, FACP, FAAHPM, FASCO is the Physician Quality and Outcomes Officer for the Duke Cancer Institute and an Associate Professor of Medicine, Business Administration, and Population Health Sciences in the Division of Medical Oncology and Section of Palliative Care at Duke University. Dr. Kamal completed Internal Medicine residency and Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic – Rochester, MN and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Duke University. He holds a master’s in health sciences in Clinical Research (MHS) from the Duke Clinical Research Training Program and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
As a fellowship-trained palliative medicine physician and medical oncologist, Dr. Kamal studies the link between delivery of high-quality palliative care and improved patient, caregiver, and health system outcomes. He has research funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, National Cancer Institute, and Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts on palliative care, oncology, and healthcare quality in JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Oncology, and others. He was recently elected to the AAHPM Board of Directors and named an Academy Visionary by the AAHPM.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN MEDICINE
DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL EDUCATION & TRAINING
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Dr. El-Sourady completed her undergraduate training at Duke University, and received her Masters of Science in Nutritional Biochemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and then completed an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, she completed a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship in 2011, and then subsequently joined the faculty in the Division of General Medcine and Public Health. She is currently the Director of Palliative Care Education and has been charged to bring primary palliative care skills and education to providers and learners at VUMC. In her role as Assistant Fellowship Director, she works closely with the Palliative Care fellows as they pursue specialist training.
She also works as an attending physician with the Palliative Care Consult team and the Palliative Care Unit as well as sees primary care patients in the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Clinic. Her academic interests include communication between medical providers and patients, as well as medical student, resident, and fellow education. She enjoys working with patients and their families with serious illnesses, as well as working with the palliative care interdisciplinary teams.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN MEDICINE
MEDICAL DIRECTOR PALLIATIVE CARE
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Mohana Karlekar MD is the medical director of the palliative care program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is the associate program director for the hospice and palliative care fellowship. She has been on faculty at VUMC for 12 years. She earned her MD from SUNY at Stony Brook and completed internal medicine residency training at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. Her area of expertise is the intersection of palliative care and trauma and cystic fibrosis and has published and presented nationally on this topic. She is the recipient of the Hugh Jackson Morgan Teaching Award in 2009, an Honoree in the Alpha Omega Association in 2009 and received The Leonard Tow Humanism Award in 2010. She is currently the chair of the state palliative care task force and is a member of the American Association for the Surgery Trauma's Palliative Care Committee.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, VUMC
DIRECTOR, HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE MEDICINE FELLOWSHIP
CHIEF OF PALLIATIVE CARE PROGRAM, NASHVILLE VETERANS AFFAIRS
Sumi Misra received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, completed her Medical residency program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in 1999, and completed a fellowship in Geriatrics at Vanderbilt University, and has been on faculty at VUMC since 2000. During her Fellowship training she developed a passion for issues surrounding End of Life and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Care (2000). She is also Board certified in Integrated Health and complementary Medicine (2006). Her research interests include innovation and evaluation in medical education, care delivery in the seriously ill, clinical and academic program development. She has presented and published nationally in these areas.
DEBORAH UNGER, MD
Deborah Unger, MD is a physician on the Palliative Medicine Team at the Nashville Campus of the Tennessee Valley VA Medical system and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Unger received her B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Vassar College, M.D. from Texas A&M College of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Miami’s West Palm Beach campus where she served on the Clinical Ethics committee She completed both research and clinical fellowships in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Stanford University, with special interests in language-discordant family meetings, and served on the Resident Safety Committee with an emphasis on communication. She has most recently been elected to serve as the Chair of the AAHPM Veteran’s Special Interest Group for 2020.
KATE PAYNE, RN, JD
Kate Payne RN, JD is an associate professor of nursing at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Her primary role is on the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service, which helps patients, families, staff and providers with ethical concerns that arise in patient care. She co-chairs the institutional ethics committee at VUMC and is the faculty advisor for the medical school honor council, as well as other student groups that deal with ethical issues. She teaches ethics related topics in the schools of medicine and nursing as well as in-services throughout the medical center. Kate has been a nurse for over thirty-seven years (BS Rush University 1981), a lawyer for twenty-nine (Pepperdine School of Law, 1989) and a clinical ethicist for over twenty-four years (Fellow, McClean Center for Ethics, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago 1993-1994). She is also a board-certified nurse coach (2015). Before coming to Vanderbilt, she was the Director of Ethics and Palliative Care at Saint Thomas West here in Nashville. Her ethics work focuses on practical approaches to ethical dilemmas that help solve problems as well as promote resilience in caregiver.
MATT PEACHEY, MD
Matt Peachey, MD is an assistant professor in palliative medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center. He has completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics followed by a Palliative Medicine fellowship at Vanderbilt prior to joining the faculty in 2012. His areas of interest include student and graduate medical education with a focus in understanding the intersection of technology, providers and patient care. Most recently, he has spent time advocating in Washington D.C. in conjunction with NHPCO to promote legislation supporting palliative medicine and hospice care across the country.
MARTHA LEONARD, MD
Martha Leonard, MD is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center for 5 years. She received her medical degree from University of Tennessee College of Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Her area of expertise is in Veterans Affairs Health Care and Medical Ethics. She recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Ethics from the National Center for Ethics in Health Care. She is currently working on education in Goals of Care Conversations surrounding the new Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions Initiative at VA and will be joining the Preventive Ethics Workgroup within the Integrative Ethics Committee at Tennessee Valley Health Care VA Facility.
JILL R. NELSON, NP
Jill R. Nelson, NP is a Nurse Practitioner with the Vanderbilt Palliative Care Team. She is an Adult Health Nurse Practitioner and is an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse through the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center. Jill received her BS in nursing from the University of Tennessee, and her master’s degree of science in nursing from Vanderbilt University. She has been a nurse practitioner with Vanderbilt for 12 years. Jill is an assistant professor, preceptor and lectures on palliative care to graduate students in the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt. She has presented on palliative care topics at national conferences including American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, and Vanderbilt's Critical Care Boot Camp. Jill was named Nashville March of Dimes Hospice & Palliative Nurse of the Year for Middle Tennessee in 2016. She is a founding member of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association.
SAM ROBBINS, DNP
Sam Robbins, DNP has been an Assistant in Medicine at Vanderbilt for four years and has a special interest in early outpatient palliative care. He received his MSN degree from Vanderbilt and his DNP degree from Belmont. Additionally, he has a Master of Theological Studies degree from Vanderbilt Divinity school. His area of expertise is the timing of palliative care interventions and he has published original research in this area. He is currently participating in research to advance earlier palliative care models.
MYRICK C. SHINALL, JR., MD, PHD
Myrick C. Shinall, Jr., MD, PhD is an assistant professor of surgery and medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he practices general surgery and palliative care. Dr. Shinall completed his MD, PhD, general surgery residency, and clinical fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine, all at Vanderbilt. His area of expertise is palliative care for surgical patients and palliative surgical procedures. He is the principal investigator on the NIH-funded SCOPE Trial, a randomized, controlled trial of early specialist palliative care for patients undergoing surgery for cancer. He has been recognized as an AAHPM Research Scholar and as a GEMSSTAR Scholar by the National Institute of Aging.
SARA MARTIN, MD
Sara Martin, MD received her bachelor's degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and medical degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her internship and residency at Vanderbilt University. She subsequently completed a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship in 2010 and joined the faculty in the Division of General Medicine and Public Health. She is the Director of Outpatient Palliative Care and has led the effort to create and expand this clinical component of the palliative care service. Her academic interests include the study of early palliative care in multiple populations and she leads the local effort of a large national PECORI grant. She enjoys teaching trainees palliative care skills and medical ethics and has dabbled in producing and conceptualizing documentaries related to palliative care.
ANDREW WOOLDRIDGE, MD
Andrew Wooldridge, MD has a special interest in humanism in medicine and cultivating wellness through affective domain education. He has been an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for 5 years. He received his MD degree from University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Cedars-Sinai/West Los Angeles VA hospitals. His area of expertise is inpatient palliative care and has developed Geriatrics/Palliative medical school curricula, as well as directing the Healer’s Art medical school elective created by Rachel Remen. He has been inducted as faculty into the Gold Humanism Honor Society for these efforts. He is currently working on bringing arts/humanities initiatives as clinical services lines for patients in addition to provider/staff wellness at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
AMANDA WILSON, MD
Amanda Wilson, MD earned her medical degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed her residency in psychiatry at Boston University Medical Center. Her fellowship in consultation liaison psychiatry was completed at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is board certified in psychiatry and consultation liaison psychiatry and developed the fellowship for consultation liaison psychiatry fellowship at Vanderbilt. She is currently focusing on emergency psychiatry and has joint appointments in Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine. Her areas of interest include emergency psychiatry, catatonia, factitious disorder, and the difficult patient.
JOE FANNING, PHD
Joe Fanning, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at VUMC. He earned his Ph.D in Philosophy of Religion at Vanderbilt University and ethics training form the Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey and a B.A., Religion, Birmingham-Southern College, Birmingham, Alabama. His areas of expertise are the intersection of medicine and ethics. He is very engaged in teaching learners at undergraduate and graduate levels about the ethical principles and foundations.
STACEY TILLMAN, MD
Stacey Tillman, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Section Palliative Care at VUMC. She attended medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at VUMC in 2014. She subsequently worked as a hospitalist at a community hospital for two years prior to returning to VUMC to complete a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2017. Her areas of interest are resident education and quality of life during serious illness. She has presented her research at the American Academy of Hospital and Palliative medicine.
CAROL NESTLER, MSN, FNPC, ACHPN
Carol Nestler, MSN, FNPC, ACHPN has been a Nurse Practitioner on the Palliative Medicine Team at the Nashville Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and has provided Palliative Care consultation and follow-up to hospitalized and clinic patients, since 2016. Ms. Nestler graduated from the University of Illinois in 1987 with a BSN and worked as an RN in multiple settings for 20 years (Adolescent Psych, Home Health and Hospice). In 2008, she graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with an MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty and received the Outstanding Student Award for the FNP specialty. Ms. Nestler received Advanced Certification in Hospice and Palliative Nursing in September 2014. She has been instrumental in the early development and implementation of out-patient Palliative Care Models in Nashville and surrounding counties and has nationally presented on this topic, at National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Conference, 2014 and at the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine/Nursing (AAHPM) Conference in 2015. She remains committed to providing compassionate palliative care to patients and their families and increasing earlier access to Palliative Care for vulnerable veteran populations.