Physician joins BWFH's Palliative Care team
Dr. John Halporn
"The most interesting aspect of hospitalist work, for me, was taking care of seriously ill people facing difficult decisions and the end of life," Halporn explains. "I decided that palliative care was the right fit for me, and BWFH offered the best opportunity to practice palliative care full time."
Halporn is available to help patients understand and make decisions about their health and ongoing medical care, including whether to continue curative treaments, life-sustaining interventions, or to help patients focus primarily on comfort in the case of life-limiting illness. He works with patients with a variety of conditions, including cancer, emphysema, and heart disease, as well as neurologic conditions such as dementia, stroke, ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and multiple sclerosis.
"My assistance doesn't necessarily mean a patient is choosing a comfort goal or hospice care," he explains. "It could mean suggestions for medications to better treat pain or other symptoms, for psychiatry, or even surgical evaluation to help address the patient's needs. We try to empower patients to face what may be in store for them with their particular diagnosis. We tell patients that we are there to listen and help them make the best decision for their care going forward."
Halporn worked as a hospitalist at BWFH 10 years ago, and is happy to return to the community feel of our hospital. "BWFH is focused on patient satisfaction," he explains. "They change things that don't work. They are committed to improvement. Plus, I was drawn to a community hospital setting where I am can see an older population with common medical problems."
When not working, Halporn enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, ages 7 and 10. They enjoy doing crafts, hiking, and making music together.