Current Report Articles
Janelle Williamson – Transforming Pallative Care

Janelle Williamson (Oct. 16, 2020) – KHA's Health Care Worker of the Year Award highlights hospital employees who have made a significant contribution to the betterment of their hospital. These individuals have been nominated for this award because they routinely go above and beyond the call of duty.

Everything about Janelle Williamson demonstrates compassion, empathy and respect to patients and their families. She is passionate in her work to make patients who have chronic conditions more comfortable throughout the entire course of their disease and is often there at the end of life. She is kind, thoughtful and builds trust with not only the patient, but with family and those supporting the patient. She addresses the patient's pain and anxiety with compassion and transparency. She respects her patient's wishes and provides excellent support to both her patient and their family, at very difficult times.

Janelle was recruited to LMH Health to help formally develop palliative medicine services alongside Dr. Rich Sosinski, who serves as her collaborative MD. Fast forward six years – in addition to Dr. Sosinski, the palliative medicine clinic now has two full-time APRNs and has expanded the service to both inpatient and outpatient consults. Janelle works closely with the hospitalists, cardiologists, pulmonologists and oncologists (as well as other specialties) and collaborates with continuum of care in the community (home health, long-term care and skilled facilities, etc.). She has transformed palliative medicine into a routine part of the care. This allows patients to have the best experience possible throughout the course of their chronic condition.

In regards to working with other health care providers, Janelle approaches each situation from an educational standpoint, keeping "what is best for the patient" in the forefront. She is tenacious and does not easily retreat when there are differences of opinions about what the palliative program has to offer. Instead, she approaches each situation in a thoughtful manner. Janelle has provided numerous educational talks in the Douglas County area about palliative medicine and is able to provide excellent education and expertise to the medical staff and other health care providers about the value and benefits of palliative medicine. She is a member of several boards, councils, committees and networks. This year, Janelle was named the recipient of the 2020 American Association of Nurse Practitioners Kansas State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence.

Janelle will be recognized with other Health Care Worker of the Year nominees during the KHA Virtual Convention, Oct. 21-23. The winners also will be recognized at their hospitals.
--Jan Fenwick