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Dr. Sarah Friebert named "Visionary" in Hospice & Palliative Medicine

12-11-2017 (Akron, Mahoning Valley, Ohio )

Sarah Friebert, M.D., director of Akron Children’s Hospital’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center, has been named one of the 30 most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine, the medical specialty focused on relieving suffering and improving quality of life for people with serious illnesses.

In celebration of 30 years serving the profession, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) asked its 5,000 members to nominate whom they think are the leaders – or Visionaries – in the field. They then asked members to vote for the top 10 among the 142 nominated. 

Dr. Friebert is one of 30 physicians, nurses and researchers recognized by peers for the important role she played in advancing the medical specialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical specialty that focuses on improving quality of life and relieving pain and other symptoms in seriously ill patients. Palliative care is provided to patients who are continuing to receive treatments to try to cure or control their disease, regardless of their prognosis. Hospice is a specific type of palliative care for patients whose life expectancy is six months or less. Hospice and palliative care also helps patients and families understand their treatment options and make decisions about their care, and provides information on spiritual and psychosocial services, support for family and caregivers and grief counseling.

“This program recognizes key individuals who have been critical in building and shaping our field over the past 30 years,” noted Steve R. Smith, AAHPM CEO. “These individuals represent thousands of other healthcare professionals in this country who provide quality medical care and support for those living with serious illness -- each and every day.”

Founded by Dr. Friebert in 2002, Akron Children’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center is a team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and social workers, child life specialists and other allied health professionals who work with children and their families to enhance quality of life and minimize suffering for patients with chronic or complex illnesses. The center is one of the largest pediatric palliative care programs in the U.S. and is nationally recognized as a model for other such centers.

More information on the Visionaries project, including the list of 30 Visionaries can be found on the Academy’s website