Tiller receives RMH 2011 Golden Stethoscope Award

K. Ellissa Tiller, MD, medical director of RMH Hospice and Palliative Care, has been named recipient of the third annual RMH Golden Stethoscope Award.

The award recognizes an outstanding physician on the RMH Medical Staff who demonstrates excellence in patient care, customer service, communication and teamwork

Dr Tiller received the award during the General Medical Staff meeting at RMH on April 12. The award is given annually as part of the hospital’s recognition of National Doctors’ Day.

“Dr. Tiller has been a tremendous addition to the RMH team,” said Dale Carroll, M.D., senior vice president, Clinical Effectiveness and Chief Medical Officer. “Those who nominated her consistently praised her compassionate, approachable manner and noted that she truly cares for the community she serves. Dr. Tiller has worked tirelessly to educate patients and their families, educate staff and build relationships with area medical professionals to enhance the breadth and quality of hospice and palliative services at RMH.”

Dr. Tiller joined the RMH Medical Staff in 2010 as the hospital’s first palliative care physician. Palliative care is a medical specialty that focuses on how serious illness affects patient, along with the patient’s family. The goals of palliative care are to relieve pain and symptoms and improve quality of life. Since Dr. Tiller joined RMH, the palliative care program has grown considerably, prompting RMH to add a second physician to the program in 2011 to meet community demand.

“I am deeply honored to receive the 2011 RMH Golden Stethoscope Award,” Tiller said. “As RMH’s first palliative care physician, I have felt welcomed by my fellow physicians, nurses and support staff. It is my goal to ensure that patients and their loved ones receive the compassion and support that they need when they face a serious illness. The patients and families I have been in contact with have touched my life, and it has been my honor and privilege to be involved in their care.”

Dr. Tiller graduated from the University of Queensland School of Medicine, Australia. She completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Virginia, where she received the Donnelly Award for best-all-round internist. She is a member of the American Academy of Physicians and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

A total of 57 nominations were submitted by hospital staff, with 24 physicians nominated from among 330 on the medical staff. Dr. Carroll noted that nominators often referred to the physician’s caring manner and interpersonal skills rather then “how smart or capable” the physician was.

“Our doctors are smart and capable, but what sets them apart is their care and respect,” he said.

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