Housecall Providers has announced that Dr. Eric Walsh has been hired as its new hospice medical director, replacing Dr. Nancy Cloak who had held the position for two years. Dr. Walsh joins Housecall Providers after serving for 10 years as the hospice medical director for what is now Kindred Hospice. Until recently, Dr. Walsh was also working as an inpatient palliative care physician at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU).
“Eric’s extensive experience as a hospice medical director, coupled with his years of working with vulnerable patient populations as a primary care physician, makes him the perfect fit for our organization,” says Senior Medical Director Dr. Will Kennedy.
Since 2009, Housecall Providers Hospice has been delivering end-of-life care as part of the nonprofit’s continuum of services that includes primary and palliative care. Each year, the hospice serves hundreds of patients and family members, many coming from their primary care program.
Dr. Walsh started his medical career in the South Bronx, NY, as a physician at Soundview Health Center, a full-service family practice clinic serving the poorest congressional districts in the country. The following year he also became the medical director of the Bronx Hospice Visiting Nurse Service of New York when the AIDS epidemic was in the acceleration phase.
“Hospice has been with me for 34 years,” says Dr. Walsh.
For 19 of the last 32 years, Dr. Walsh has been the director of two family practice residency programs. He has taught at several colleges and universities in New York and Oregon, most recently as the Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, OHSU.
Dr. Walsh was also one of four founding members of the Institute for Family Health, a Bronx area health center catering to marginalized and underserved populations. The mission-driven nonprofit has extended to upstate New York and now includes 27 community health centers that serve nearly 100,000 patients a year.
“Housecall Providers and I started in Portland at the same time (1995) and I’ve been impressed with the whole model of taking care of people who were too frail to go into a clinic,” says Dr. Walsh. “For me, especially now that Housecall Providers is part of CareOregon, it feels like I am returning to my roots of caring for the marginalized and underserved within our community.”