Dr. Komatz named fellow of American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Published: March 14, 2012
Kelly C. Komatz, M.D., M.P.H. Kelly C. Komatz, M.D., M.P.H.

Kelly C. Komatz, M.D., M.P.H., is now among an exclusive group of pediatricians honored as a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Komatz, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, was the only pediatrician among 27 new fellows named this month at the academy’s annual meetings in Denver.

Komatz has been doing hospice and palliative care work the past seven years and became board certified in 2010 – one of about 100 pediatricians nationwide with that certification. While traditional thinking on hospice care means "end of life," the Community PedsCare program has focused on in-hospital and in-home care for youth with chronic pain and life-threatening diseases.

Community PedsCare is a program of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, with collaboration between UF, Wolfson Children's Hospital and Nemours. It provides nursing, medical and emotional support for children and their families. Komatz also serves as medical director of the pain and palliative care consult services at Wolfson.

"We pretty much have every area covered for the kids so they are able to receive the services, whether they are an inpatient or in the community," said Komatz, associate medical director for Community PedsCare.

The honor is another feather for Jacksonville’s palliative care program, which has a potential boost from UF in the plans. The Jacksonville campus is working toward establishing a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine, which it hopes to have approved soon, further recognizing palliative care as an emerging medical subspecialty with great importance in the current and future healthcare of society and the community.

"What this represents is the leadership role in the development of a new specialty area in pediatrics that this campus and this community are achieving," said Jeffrey L. Goldhagen, M.D., M.P.H., a UF professor and chief of community pediatrics.

Last fall, Goldhagen was named the first recipient of the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida/Neviaser Family Professorship in Pediatric Palliative Care. The professorship shows Jacksonville is a national leader in the field, said Goldhagen, who is also program medical director for Community PedsCare.

Kelly C. Komatz, M.D., M.P.H.

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