DHMC’s section chief of palliative care honored with national award for compassionate care

Kathryn B. Kirkland, MD

Kathryn B. Kirkland, MD, section chief and director of palliative care at Dartmouth Health’s Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and a professor of medicine and of health policy and clinical practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, was awarded by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care at its 28th annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner on November 9. Kirkland was one of six recipients of 2023 National Compassionate Caregivers of the Year (NCYY) Award, honoring healthcare professionals and teams who display extraordinary compassion in the care of their patients, colleagues and their communities.

“The 2023 NCCY Award recipients are leading the way in addressing healthcare inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Mark E. Reynolds, chair of the Schwartz Center Board. “These visionary change-makers are addressing social determinants of health by increasing access to care in underserved communities, and are building programs to reduce stigma and support the most vulnerable populations. Together, we celebrate their incredible dedication.”

The Schwartz Center recognized Kirkland as a provider of compassionate care to patients facing serious illness and their families, and a skilled communicator who has incorporated narrative medicine into every aspect of her work. She was also credited for instituting Dartmouth Health’s annual Walk of Remembrance, honoring and supporting mutual connection through the shared experience of grief and loss.

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.