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White named chair in palliative medicine and supportive care

Becomes inaugural holder of Stokes Family Endowed Chair

December 17, 2019

Matt Miller

Patrick White, MD, director of the Division of Palliative Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and chief medical officer of BJC Hospice, has been named the inaugural Stokes Family Endowed Chair in Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care.

The Stokes family chair was created with a 2018 gift to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital from Aja and Patrick Stokes.

Patrick Stokes is a former president, CEO and chairman of Anheuser-Busch Co. The Stokes family’s decision to endow this chair reflects a commitment to elevate the important role that education and research play in the delivery of palliative and hospice care. They began championing the need for expanded hospice care in St. Louis after Aja Stoke’s sister’s end-of-life experience in a hospice house in Sweden. They then led The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s campaign to build a home for BJC Hospice, culminating in the opening of Evelyn’s House in 2017.

White, who also leads Evelyn’s House, the adult and pediatric hospice house on the campus of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, supports and provides clinical oversight to more than 650 clinicians who provide care for more than 11,000 patients each year.

Palliative medicine focuses on relieving suffering for patients who have advanced diseases. Its emphasis is on addressing symptoms while using compassionate communication, as well as extra psychosocial and spiritual support, to enhance quality of life for very sick patients and their family members.

“I’m very pleased that an outstanding clinician and educator in end-of-life care is being recognized with this endowed position,” said Victoria J. Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor and head of the Department of Medicine at Washington University. “Patrick has a bold vision, and he’s working to develop new clinical, educational and research programs to better integrate supportive care, palliative medicine and hospice services to give patients access to the best possible care to reduce pain and suffering and improve quality of life.”

White earned his medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, followed by a fellowship in palliative medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

He is actively engaged in clinical research to help reduce pain and nausea in patients with advanced cancer, and he has received funding from the NIH for two research initiatives related to palliative medicine and supportive care for patients nearing the end of their lives.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to hold the Stokes chair and to work with such fine clinicians at Washington University and BJC, as we all attempt to improve the management of patient symptoms and to enhance the support available to these very sick patients and their families,” White said. “And I am especially grateful to the Stokes family, to Barnes-Jewish Hospital and to BJC for their commitments to palliative and end-of-life care.”

Washington University School of Medicine’s 1,500 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, ranking among the top 10 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.