The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) presented Timothy E. Quill, M.D., with its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, today at its Annual Assembly in Boston.
An internationally recognized pioneer in palliative care and end-of-life decision making, Quill was founding director of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Palliative Care Program. He is a professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Medical Humanities and Nursing at the University of Rochester Medical Center and currently serves as Acting Director of the URMC Paul M. Schyve Center for Bioethics.
In presenting the honor, AAHPM cited Quill’s contributions to the national organization, including serving as its president in 2012, and as lead author and editor for its Primer of Palliative Care. In 2013, he was designated as an AAHPM Visionary and awarded its Palliative Medicine Community Award for advancing the field of palliative care through distinctive mentorship and leadership and serving as a role model for others engaged in improving the care of the dying.
“I am honored to receive this award, which reflects the outstanding collective clinical, educational and research efforts of our URMC Interprofessional Palliative Care Team,” Quill said. “Together we are actualizing the promise of Rochester’s biopsychosocial model, and applying it to the care our most seriously ill patients and their families.”
Quill is a renowned patient advocate and sought-after speaker on various aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, with special focus on end-of-life decision-making. He earned national notoriety as the lead physician plaintiff in the New York State legal case challenging the law prohibiting physician-assisted death that was heard in 1997 by the United States Supreme Court. He is a regular, invited contributor to respected national journals and has written several books on end-of-life issues, including Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice, and Caring for Patients at the End of Life: Facing an Uncertain Future Together.
In Rochester, Quill has influenced the growth of palliative care community-wide. With him at the helm, URMC’s Palliative Care Program grew into a full-service program encompassing teaching, research, outpatient and in-home consultations, and inpatient care. Under his direction, in 2009 Strong Memorial Hospital opened the region’s first hospital-based palliative care unit.
A graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Quill completed an Internal Medicine residency and a Fellowship in Medicine/Psychiatry at URMC. He is a Master in the American College of Physicians, a Fellow in the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, an American Board of Medical Specialties-certified Palliative Care consultant, and a founding board member of American Academy on Communication in Healthcare.
Hospice and palliative medicine focuses on improving quality of life and relieving pain and other symptoms in seriously ill patients. Palliative care can be provided to patients who continue to receive treatments to try to cure or control their disease, regardless of their prognosis. Hospice is a type of palliative care for patients whose life expectancy is likely to be six months or less. Both hospice and palliative care help patients and families understand treatment options and make decisions about care. It also provides information on spiritual and psychosocial services, support for family and caregivers, and grief counseling.