Program Staff

Physicians

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Renee Foutz, MD

Renee Foutz, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) at the Medical College of Wisconsin specializing in hospice and palliative medicine.

Jonathan Gully, MD

Jonathan Gully, MD

Jonathan joined the faculty of the Palliative Care Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2009. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2004. After completing his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, he pursued specialty training at the Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program. Currently, he is the palliative care course director for M3 and M4 medical students. His interests include medical humanities, ethics, and the effective incorporation of the palliative care principles into the medical education curricula of fellows, residents, and medical students. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, painting, writing poetry, and spending time with his family.

Christopher Lawton, MD

Dr. Lawton is Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) at the Medical College of Wisconsin specializing in hospice and palliative medicine. He graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in 2012 and then completed his internal medicine residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center in 2015. He went on to complete his fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His clinical interests include communication skills in the palliative care setting and substance use disorders in the terminally ill.

Sean Marks, MD

Sean Marks, MD

Dr. Marks is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in the Division of Hematology & Oncology, specializing in palliative medicine. He graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2004 and then completed an internal medicine residency at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in 2007. After completing his fellowship in palliative medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2008, he continued on as faculty. He is the program director for the hospice and palliative medicine fellowship and the editor for a peer-reviewed electronic educational resource for hospice and palliative medicine called Fast Facts and Concepts. His clinical and research interests include prognostication, end of life issues in patients with mental illness and the intersection of bioethical issues in end of life care.

Wendy Peltier, MD

Wendy Peltier, MD

Dr. Peltier is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Section Head of the Palliative Care Center in the Division of Hematology and Oncology. She has extensive background in medical education, leadership and neuromuscular neurology. She brings these skills to palliative care in the areas of clinical pathways and teaching communication skills. Her research interests are in quality improvement and the development of models for 'upstream' palliative care in serious illness as well as for inpatient hospice in the critically ill patient.

Katherine A. Recka, MD

Katherine Recka, MD

Katherine Recka, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Division of Hematology and Oncology, specializing in hospice and palliative medicine at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. She graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2006. Dr. Recka completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics through the Medical College of Wisconsin and Affiliated Hospitals in 2010 and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Michigan in 2011. Dr. Recka is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and has an interest in bioethics and in quality improvement.

Mary Rhodes, MD

Mary Rhodes, MD

Dr. Rhodes is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, specializing in Palliative Medicine. She completed medical school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, followed by Internal Medicine residency training at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. She joined the faculty in 2014 after completing a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. She has an interest in improving palliative care access, particularly for patients with limited English proficiency.

Paul Stellmacher, MD

Paul Stellmacher, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology; General Internal Medicine) at the Medical College of Wisconsin specializing in hospice and palliative medicine as well as hospitalist medicine.

Elizabeth Thiel, MD

Elizabeth Thiel, MD

Elizabeth Thiel, MD, MS, is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, specializing in palliative medicine. She completed medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2004, followed by a pediatric residency and a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship both at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Desiring further skills in caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses, Dr. Thiel completed subspecialty training in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2011. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She became the Community Hospital Division Palliative Care Medical Director in April of 2016.

Jo Weis, PhD

Jo Weis, PhD

Jo Weis is a licensed psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is also Director of Behavioral Medicine for Palliative Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Froedtert/Medical College of Wisconsin. She collaborates with a multidisciplinary team of physicians, advance practice nurses and chaplain who administer to palliative care patients and families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Her research interests include adjustment to life threatening illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological issues and resilience at end-of-life.

David E. Weissman, MD - Emeritus

David E. Weissman, MD - Emeritus

Dr. Weissman is the founding Director of the Palliative Care Program and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology. He is nationally recognized for his pioneering work designing and implementing novel health professional education strategies for pain management and palliative care. Dr. Weissman is a consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and numerous medical schools, helping to develop palliative care teaching resources for the next generation of physicians. He is currently funded by the Y.C. Ho/Helen Chiang Foundation to improve medical school education, the JEHT Foundation in support of the Palliative Care Leadership Center Project and CAPC, in support of education product development. Dr. Weissman is Co-Director of EPERC (End of Life Palliative Education Resource Center) - a national resource center for high quality, peer reviewed End of Life educational materials. Dr. Weissman was also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal, Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Nursing Staff

Margaret Donegan, MSN, GNP-BC, ACHPN

Margaret is a nurse practitioner with post masters' certification in gerontology and hospice and palliative nursing. She provides evidenced-based physical, psychosocial and emotional care to patients in the hospital and outpatient settings. Patients are assessed for symptom needs and support while making treatment decisions. Margaret is also an instructor for palliative care course work offered to staff nurses at Froedtert Hospital. She has over 30 years of acute and community health care experience. Margaret is a member of the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners (NCGNP), Milwaukee Metro Nurse Practitioners (MMNP) and the Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association (HPNA).

Tracy Kersten, APNP

Tracey joined the Palliative Care Program as a Nurse Practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin in June 2015. As a member of the palliative care team, she collaborates with other team members to provide compassionate care to patients and their families, with special focus on their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual concerns. Tracy's background includes six years of oncology nursing experience and two years of hospice care. She holds a Master's degree in Nursing with a specialty in family practice. She is an active member of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA).

Deborah Schneider, APNP

Deborah joined the Palliative Care Program as a Nurse Practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin in May 2016. As a member of the palliative care team, she collaborates with other team members to provide compassionate care to patients and their families, with special focus on their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual concerns. Deb's nursing background spans over 22 years and includes both acute and long-term nursing care and management. She has spent the past fifteen years of her career in oncology nursing. She holds a Master's degree in Nursing with a specialty in family practice. 

Kelly Stone RN, MSN, APNP

Kelly joined the palliative care team as a nurse practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2015. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, Kelly worked as a RN for five years on the general surgery/ surgical oncology unit at Froedtert Hospital. As part of the palliative care team, Kelly strives to provide compassionate care to patients and families who are dealing with serious illnesses. She is board certified as an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner and is a member of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing Association (HPNA).

Catherine Van Schyndle, APNP

Catherine joined the Palliative Care Program as a Nurse Practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2013. As a member of the palliative care team, she collaborates with other team members to provide compassionate care to patients. She provides advanced nursing care to meet the many needs of her patients and their families, especially focusing on their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual concerns.

Research and Administration

Rose Hackbarth, Clinical Program Coordinator

Rose joined the Palliative Care Program in September of 1998. Her responsibilities include Program Coordinator for the Palliative Care Faculty, Coordinator for the Annual Great Lakes Regional Palliative Care Conference and coordination of other on-going programs. Additionally, Rose acts as Course Coordinator for the Palliative Care elective for M4 students, Internal Medicine residents and visiting physicians, website liaison, and administrator of the program's grants and contracts.

Kimberly Keller, Administrative Assistant

Kim joined the Palliative Care Program in June 2016. Her responsibilities include supporting the Palliative Care physicians with administrative responsibilities that include: scheduling, calendar management, proofing/editing documents, and assist with research. Beyond supporting the Palliative Care physicians, she will also assist Hematology and Oncology with onboarding and other projects.

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Page Updated 07/22/2016
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