5th Annual Byock & Corbeil Award Recipient Announced

The Fifth Annual Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award was presented to Shawn LaFrance by 2016 award recipient, Kelly Doherty, on June 23rd at the NHHPCO/HCANH Annual Meeting.

Shawn has spearheaded efforts to introduce improved advance care planning in his work with the Foundation for Healthy Communities. The Foundation has become the clearinghouse, go-to place for advance directives, improving consistency and access to appropriate documents and improving distribution.

In addition to improving education and access to Advanced Directives, Shawn moved forward to support Portable Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (P-DNR) legislation and coordination, in partnership with multiple statewide conferences and meetings to improve utilization of P-DNR's. He has taken a leadership role in coordinating stakeholders and building consensus to improve legislation at the State level.

Most recently, Shawn has led the drive to advocate for Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, initially using Respecting Choices methods to build a foundation of skilled and certified advance planning facilitators.

More than any single individual, without fanfare and with little recognition, over the past two decades Shawn LaFrance has steadily moved the needle, advancing social and cultural growth in our readiness and ability to initiate and support conversations about end of life care planning.


Kelly Doherty, RN-C, MSN, ARNP-BC was presented with the 2016 Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award on Friday, June 24, at the Annual Meeting of the NH Home Care Association and NH Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. This annual award is given to an individual, team or organization in Northern New England who has demonstrated innovation and collaboration to improve quality, expand access, and/or increase efficiency in delivering the best end-of-life care possible to New Hampshire residents.

4th Annual Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award Recipient Kelly Doherty

Kelly Doherty is the Director of the Palliative Care Program at Cornerstone VNA and has been instrumental in its success since the inception of the program in September 2014. In her role, she serves as a liaison to local area hospitals and collaborates with assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities to ensure that the Palliative Care Program is meeting the needs of the community. Additionally, Kelly serves on the Cornerstone VNA Medical Directors’ team and trains all Cornerstone VNA Home Care nurses in pain and symptom management. According to Hospice Director Andrea Patrick-Baudet, RN, CHPN, CHPCA, “Kelly’s ability to mentor and teach home care nurses about palliative interventions has had a monumental impact on earlier treatment of symptoms for patients with chronic illness, whether they are not yet eligible for hospice or are choosing to continue a curative philosophy of care.”

Doherty is also a certified POLST trainer (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) and a frequent conference presenter on pain management topics. Over the past two years, Doherty has ensured timely, aggressive symptom management and goals clarification for patients in the communities served by Cornerstone VNA. Julie Reynolds, RN, MS, Chief Executive Officer at Cornerstone VNA adds, “Kelly is committed to improving the quality of life for patients and their families, as they strive for wellness or embrace a chronic or life limiting illness with dignity and grace. We are so proud that she is part of the Cornerstone VNA team and that her work was recognized with this most prestigious award.”    

The award recognizes an individual, team or organization in Northern New England who has demonstrated innovation and collaboration to help deliver the best end-of-life care possible to NH residents.


The Third Annual Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award for Innovation and Collaboration in Delivering the Best Care Possible was presented to Lisa Withrow, APRN, NP-C, ACHPN Co-Founder, Palliativity Medical Group, Bedford on Friday June 5, 2015.


Lisa is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a degree focus in Palliative Medicine and 19 years in the medical field. She specializes in complex symptom management for chronic illness and life threatening disease. Part of the Palliative Care Team at the Elliot Hospital, Lisa has increased access for patients in need of palliative care by developing a trigger system. Lisa has grown the program from zero to 15 consults a week and mastered the task of billing appropriately and receiving maximum payment for Palliative Care services. Through her work, more patients have access to better care. Family caregivers and colleagues currently benefit from Lisa's willingness to give of her time and expertise.

2014's recipient, Dr. Mary Braun, Medical Director of Home Health & Hospice Care and a physician in Palliative Medicine with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester, was recognized for making “a significant impact on the quality of life for hundreds of patients in their last months of life by facilitating treatment at home and in the Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic she established at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester.”

The award’s first recipient was Dr. Patrick McClary, MD NH Palliative Care Service and Rockingham VNA & Hospice, who was instrumental in bringing Ira and Yvonne to New Hampshire, making him a fitting first recipient.