Lawrence, Mass. – Bernice Burkarth, MD, HMDC, FAAHPM, chief medical officer of Tufts Medicine Care at Home, has received the 2022 Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award from the Home Care, Hospice & Palliative Care Alliance of New Hampshire for excellence and innovation in palliative and hospice care.
The Excellence Awards were presented during the annual meeting of the Home Care, Hospice & Palliative Care Alliance of New Hampshire. Established in 2014, the annual Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award recognizes a provider who has improved quality, expanded access, and increased efficiency while delivering the best care possible to patients with severe illnesses in New Hampshire.
“I warmly congratulate Dr. Burkarth on this well-deserved honor,” said Diane Farraher-Smith, MSN/MBA, RN, chief clinical integration officer of Tufts Medicine Care at Home. “By applying her ingenuity, instincts, and skills, Dr. Burkarth and her leadership team developed new and innovative ways to meet the COVID-19 health crisis head-on while enhancing the physical, spiritual, and psychosocial well-being of all those who turn to us at end of life for unparalleled quality, compassionate care.”
Dr. Burkarth was recognized as a resource and mentor for clinicians across the country, as well as for her patient advocacy and planning during the pandemic. Under her shared direction, the Haverhill-based High Pointe House became the first hospice house in Massachusetts to open a dedicated unit for end-of-life patients who are also COVID-19 positive.
In addition, Dr. Burkarth recognized the need for a hybrid model of care, which had the dual effect of relieving homebound patients’ pandemic-induced isolation. Due to her vision, nursing assessments, volunteer visits, music therapy, chaplain interactions, and communication with loved ones all occurred via video tablet.
Dr. Burkarth, who was frequently called upon during the pandemic to share her expertise surrounding the virus and its vaccines, remains a respected and prominent member of the Tufts Medicine Speakers Bureau. As chair of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) Physician and Advanced Practice Provider Community Steering Committee from 2016 to 2021, she also has extensive experience collaborating with physicians nationwide on clinical best practices.
Dr. Burkarth lives in Haverhill, Mass.
About Tufts Medicine Care at Home
Tufts Medicine Care at Home, part of the Tufts Medicine health system, provides essential home health, palliative, and hospice care in all the places patients call home.