Five Questions With:
Dr. Edward W. Martin

Dr. Edward W. Martin, chief medical officer at HopeHealth, has received the Dr. Herbert Rakatansky Award for his achievements in hospice and palliative care. The award was presented by the Rhode Island Medical Society at its annual convivium late last year.

Martin’s medical career in Rhode Island spans 32 years, much of it focused on end-of-life care. He also serves as director of the hospice and palliative medicine fellowship program at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

PBN: What were some of the accomplishments that contributed to your selection for the Dr. Herbert Rakatansky Award?

MARTIN: I work for an organization with outstanding clinical and administrative staff, and much of what I am given credit for is due to the committed work of my HopeHealth colleagues. My career has been focused on improving care for the seriously ill and dying, and that has involved expanding the use of hospice services and the establishment of palliative care throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. My volunteer work with Amos House and my 30-year service in the Rhode Island Army National Guard was also acknowledged and contributed to this honor.

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PBN: Do you have any goals for HopeHealth as we enter the new year?

MARTIN: Our primary goal is to maintain excellence in patient care, as HopeHealth has demonstrated for more than 40 years in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Providing high-quality palliative care services in a sustainable model can be challenging; it is my hope that the reimbursement we receive for this valuable service can be improved.

PBN: Do you expect any changes in hospice and palliative care as the state’s older population begins to outnumber younger people?

MARTIN: The main change will be an increasing number of patients needing vital hospice and palliative care services. HopeHealth is dedicated to providing patients and their families with the care and support they need when time matters most. We are well-equipped to serve the growing aging population and their families.

PBN: Is it difficult to attract young doctors to this field?

MARTIN: No, it’s just the opposite. The specialty of hospice and palliative medicine has become increasingly popular. We are proud to be the major teaching affiliate for hospice and palliative medicine for the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and to train the next generation of doctors in the specialty. We easily fill our three fellowship slots each year.

PBN: You’ve spent many years working in hospice and palliative care. What is your secret to staying resilient and motivated?

MARTIN: I have been fortunate to have a supportive wife and family, find work that I love, have a great boss and team of co-workers, and a positive environment to work in. I am also grateful for the good health that has allowed me to exercise daily and ballroom dance competitively.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN staff writer. She can be reached at Graham@PBN.com.

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