American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Infobox Organization
name = American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

image_border =
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motto = Advancing the science of comfort. Affirming the art of caring.
Mission Statement=
formation = 1988
type = medical association
headquarters = Glenview, Illinois
location = flagicon|USA United States
membership =
language = English
leader_title = President
leader_name = Russell K. Portenoy, MD
key_people =
num_staff =
budget =
website = Official Web site []

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) is a professional organization for physicians specializing in hospice and palliative care, headquartered in Glenview, IL. Membership is open to all health care providers committed to improving the care of patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses. AAHPM has more than 3,500 members; 75 percent are physicians, 15 percent are nurses or other health care providers and 10 percent are residents or students.


AAHPM was founded in 1988, with 250 charter members, as the Academy of Hospice Physicians (The Academy). Josefina B. Magno, MD, president of the International Hospice Institute and Gerald Holman, MD, director of St. Anthony’s Hospice and Life Enrichment Center met to discuss the formation of The Academy.

During the next few years, members worked to build the association by educating people on the importance of hospice care through newsletters and position statements. The Academy worked on publishing a quarterly newsletter and a physician self-study series. In 1994, The Academy was awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop a book series.

The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was incorporated by the Academy in May 1996. They offered their first certifying exam later that year. The Academy gained approval from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), which allowed it to provide CME to physicians. The Academy also changed its name to the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM).

By the turn of the century, AAHPM’s membership grew, and it secured a seat in the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates.

AAHPM’s strong presence and position on highly controversial subjects has made the Academy a prominent voice in hospice and palliative care. In 2003, AAHPM was able to develop its infrastructure and establish the College of Palliative Care with a $1.2-million grant from Open Society Institute’s Project on Death in America.

Position Statements

AAHPM continues to tackle complex and controversial issues, and the Academy and its members have helped others understand alternatives to dying in severe pain. Hospice and palliative medicine offers care, which make the final stages of life comfortable, dignified and peaceful.

Some of the issues discussed by AAHPM are artificial nutrition near the end of life, physician-assisted death, and palliative care research ethics. The Academy serves as a prominent resource for the media on hospice and palliative medicine issues. AAHPM leaders have been interviewed for articles that appeared in the Wall Street Journal and TIME magazine.


The Academy publishes a variety of resources for hospice and palliative care professionals, including: Primer of Palliative Care, 4th edition, Hospice and Palliative Care Training for Physicians: UNIPAC, 3rd edition, Pocket Guide to Hospice/Palliative Medicine, Medical Director Model, Clinical Essentials of Hospice and Palliative Medicine: Symptom Management and Disease Updates on CD-ROM, Current Concepts in Palliative Care course on CD-ROM, Hospice Medical Director Course on CD-ROM, brochures on patient and physician education.

Educational Offerings

AAHPM, together with the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), sponsors an educational conference each year. The AAHPM-HPNA Annual Assembly provides disease updates and sessions on the latest advances in clinical research, cultural, ethical and legal, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of care for physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and others who practice hospice and palliative care.

AAHPM also offers educational courses during the year which focus on topics of interest to hospice and palliative care professionals.

AAHPM Annual Assembly Sites:
*2009: Austin, Texas
*2008: Tampa, Florida
*2007: Salt Lake City, Utah
*2006: Nashville, Tennessee
*2005: New Orleans, Louisiana
*2004: Phoenix, Arizona

External links

* [ AAHPM's Official Web site]

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