Reuben Smith, MD, Associate Medical Director, Community Hospice of Northeast Florida
As a Community Hospice physician, Dr. Reuben Smith works with community physicians and an interdisciplinary team including nurse practitioners and nurses, psychosocial specialists, chaplains, hospice aides and volunteers to provide "quality of life care" to patients and their families, through expert pain and symptom management and support for family caregivers.
"The biggest myth that I hear from patients and physicians is that hospice is only about dying. Nothing is further from the truth. Our role is to make sure that patients stay comfortable and live well. When we manage that, take care of their needs and relieve their suffering, then we allow patients to be restful and at peace for whatever time they have left.
"In addition to managing patients' needs, we provide follow-up information to referring physicians, ensuring that they remain a part of the team. Throughout our care, it's important that we include them in the treatment regimen, provide information about their patients' status and keep lines of communication open."
--Dr. Reuben Smith