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Palliative Care Team

Serious illness creates tremendous challenges for patients and for the people around them. Palliative care expands traditional medical treatment by using an interdisciplinary structure to deliver holistic care to people with advanced disease. Our goals include optimizing patients’ symptom control and functional ability, helping with medical decision-making, and enhancing quality of life for patients and their families.

The palliative care team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJH) consists of a chaplain, two social workers, two nurse practitioners, and two physicians. Each team member brings years of experience in palliative care, hospice care, and traditional medical care. Team members combine their expertise to provide comprehensive management of the physical, psychological, and spiritual issues related to a patient’s illness. We work closely with Washington University physicians and other healthcare providers to clarify goals and to coordinate workable plans of care.

Our team members include:

Erin Bakanas, MD

Professor of Medicine, Palliative Medicine 
Dr. Bakanas graduated from The University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1987. She completed a residency in internal medicine at the former Jewish Hospital of St. Louis at Washington University, and a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Washington University. She earned a master’s degree in health care mission from The Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. Dr. Bakanas is board-certified in internal medicine. Prior to working at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, she was a professor of medicine and practiced general internal medicine at Saint Louis University. Her interests include health care ethics, medical business ethics and addiction medicine.

Maria Dans, MD

Associate Professor, Internal Medicine 
Clinical Director, Palliative Care Services

Dr. Dans graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 1999. She completed residency in internal medicine, followed by fellowships in palliative medicine and critical care medicine at Stanford University Medical Center in California. Dr. Dans is board-certified in internal medicine, critical care medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine. She also serves as the chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines Review Panel in palliative care.

Prior to working at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Dr. Dans worked as a surgical intensive care attending at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. She also serves as an associate editor for the American College of Surgeons ethics webpage.

Elyse Everett, MD

Instructor of Medicine, Palliative Medicine 
Dr. Everett obtained her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015 and her Master of Occupational Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. She completed her residency in adult neurology in 2019 at Washington University. She is interested in the intersection between neurology and palliative care, especially the palliative care needs of patients with chronic neurodegenerative conditions, including ALS and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Everett has recently established an outpatient neuro-palliative care clinic.

H. Michael Koller, MD

Instructor of Medicine, Internal Medicine
Dr. Koller graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in 1978. He completed residency in family medicine and his fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Koller is board certified in family medicine and hospice and palliative medicine.

Prior to his fellowship training in palliative medicine and joining the BJH palliative care team, Dr. Koller was a member of the Washington University Emergency Medicine Division, serving in the Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital Emergency Department.

Daniel Paget, MD

Associate Professor, Internal Medicine
Dr. Paget is a graduate of University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Weill Cornell New York Presbyterian Hospital and worked thereafter as an Academic Hospitalist in the Northshore-LIJ hospital system. Dr. Paget joined Washington University, St. Louis medical faculty in 2019 after receiving his fellowship training in hospice and palliative care at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. His areas of interest include improving the quality of care for patients at the end of life, with a focus on advanced pain management and doctor-patient communication.

Patrick White, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr White is the director of the palliative medicine division at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is also the chief medical officer of BJC Home Care and BJC Hospice. Dr. White earned his medical degree from the Ohio State College of Medicine and Public Health, where he was a dean’s scholar. He trained in internal medicine at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and he completed a fellowship in palliative medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

He was selected as one of the inaugural “Hospice and Palliative Medicine Inspirational Leaders Under 40” by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and he was one of seven physician leaders selected to the inaugural Hospice Medical Director Leadership Council. Dr. White was also appointed to the Missouri Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council and has served as a technical expert panel adviser to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on improving the quality of care at end of life. He recently was named one of the “40 Under 40” by the St. Louis Business Journal for his leadership and service to the St. Louis community, and he is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Colleen Gilmore, MSN, RN, ANP-BC

Nurse Practitioner
Colleen Gillmore graduated from the former Barnes Hospital School of Nursing in 1985 with a nursing diploma, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Webster University in 1992 and a master’s degree as an adult nurse practitioner from Goldfarb School of Nursing. After completing her training and working as an undergraduate nurse in a rotation of diverse nursing floors within Barnes Hospital, Colleen chose to work in both the palliative care and hospice services at BJH. There, she does what she loves: treating the whole patient and family, caring for patients with acute symptoms related to their terminal illness. Supporting them in a most difficult and vulnerable time of life.

Jonathan Hanson, MSN, ANP-BC, RN

Nurse Practitioner 
Jonathan Hanson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and graduate degree from the University of Missouri – St Louis. His background includes six years of experience on the bone marrow and stem cell transplant Unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and is a U.S. Army veteran. He has been a part of the Palliative Care service since July 2011, and is credentialed as an Adult Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Jonathan has also obtained Advanced Certification in Hospice and Palliative Care through the Hospice and Palliative Nurses’ Association in 2016.

Leila Othman, MSN, FNP-BC, RN

Nurse Practitioner
Leila Othman earned her bachelor's degree from Chamberlain College of Nursing, and her master’s degree from Maryville University of St. Louis. She started working at Barnes-Jewish Hospital as a student nurse technician in 2007, and continued to work as a Registered Nurse on a high-risk cardiology division for seven years. She has been a part of the palliative care team since March of 2015. Leila is board-certified as a family nurse practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Christa Burke, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker
Christa Burke has a master’s degree in social welfare from UCLA and is a licensed clinical social worker. She has a broad background in social work but has been in the field of oncology and palliative care since 2005. She obtained advanced certification in hospice and palliative care social work in 2015.

Stephanie Clark, LCSW

Social Worker
Stephanie Hampel has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver and is a licensed social worker. In addition to palliative care, she has served pediatric and adult oncology populations. She also received training in mindfulness-based stress reduction from the University of Denver.

Katie Gholson, MA, MSW

Rev. Katie Gholson is a chaplain on the palliative care team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She has master’s degrees in pastoral studies from Eden Theological Seminary and in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to BJH, Katie worked as a staff chaplain at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a PRN chaplain at Belleville Memorial Hospital and as a resident chaplain at the VA St. Louis Healthcare System. She is endorsed by the United Methodist Church and is working toward board certification with the BCCI. Katie is a leader in her denomination for pastoral care and counseling and she mentors people on their journey towards ordination. Prior to chaplaincy, she served in congregational ministry for 12 years and is a teacher and caregiver.

Joshua Mazur, MSW, LCSW

Social WorkerJoshua Mazur earned his master’s degree in social work from Saint Louis University in 2015 with a concentration in health and mental health, and specialization in gerontology. As a graduate student, Josh did practicums with the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, BJC Hospice and the Barnes Jewish-Hospital inpatient palliative care service. Josh worked for BJC Hospice for six years. There he gained experience in both inpatient and outpatient hospice, but the majority of his time was spent in the community as a field social worker in north St. Louis County. In 2019, Josh earned his license in clinical social work and his advanced certification in hospice and palliative social work form the National Association of Social Workers and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. In 2021, Josh transferred to BJH’s inpatient palliative care service.

Harry Skaletsky, LCSW

Social Worker
Harry Skaletsky earned his master’s degree in social work in 2018 from Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School of Social Work with a concentration of aging in older adults. Harry obtained his clinical licensure in 2021. In addition to palliative care, Harry has served as an inpatient social worker in Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s psychiatric department and has also served as a BJC Hospice social worker in north St. Louis County.

For more information about Palliative Care Services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, please call 314.747.5361, 314.915.6569 or email at [email protected].

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