Saint Joseph Hospital

Faculty

Jeffery Manuel, MD
Central Area Specialty Chief (ASC) – Supportive Care
Saint Joseph/CPMG Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program Director

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Dr. Manuel was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Graceland University in Lamont, IA where he graduated with a B.S. in biology. He then moved to Pittsburgh to attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 2005. He then moved out to Denver where he completed his training at the Saint Joseph Hospital Family Medicine Residency. After finishing residency, he spent a year in Washington D.C. completing his Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship. His love for the mountains, the temperate Denver weather and Saint Joseph Hospital brought him back to Denver where he has worked for the Colorado Permanente Medical Group for the past 10 years as a Palliative Medicine Physician. During his time with CPMG he has served as the inpatient palliative care team lead and is currently the area specialty chief for central Denver. He has also developed a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship and is the current Program Director.

In his spare time he enjoys spending time in the mountains, skiing, hiking, camping and backpacking. He also loves spending time with his wife and two boys.

Sharona Sachs, MD
Saint Joseph/CPMG Palliative Medicine
Fellowship Associate Program Director

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Dr. Sachs was born in Los Angeles CA and raised in New York, leaving to attend the University of Pennsylvania to pursue what she thought would be a career in medieval English Literature and theatre. That plan was derailed when she was exposed to medicine early in her college career. She graduated with a BA in English literature, attended medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and then completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. She went on to pursue one year of Hematology/Oncology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, returning to Duke thereafter to complete a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care. She practiced as an academic pulmonologist/intensivist specializing in critical care and lung cancer at the University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Southwestern, and Stony Brook University in New York for the next 20 years prior to pursuing fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Capital Hospice in Virginia. This is where, as fate would have it, she and Dr. Manuel met as co-fellows.

Following fellowship, she joined the Section of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, first as clinical director and then as Section Chief. Her primary academic interests have included developing innovative interactive curriculum in complex communication and developing co-management models to promote early integration of palliative care in critical illness and chronic progressive disease. Having heard from Dr. Manuel for years about the wonders of Denver and CPMG, she finally succumbed to the temptation of visiting, and fell in love with both Denver and the CPMG model of care delivery. Since joining CPMG, she has focused on inpatient care at Saint Joseph’s and developing the fellowship communication curriculum.

Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, baking, pottery and finally having time to indulge love of family, friends, music and reading.

Alison Feldman, MD, BA
Pediatric Rotation Director

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Dr. Ali Feldman was born and raised in a small town in northern New Jersey. She attended Davidson College near Charlotte, North Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a concentration in medical ethics. She completed her medical degree in 2000 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Then she moved to Denver to complete her pediatric residency through the University of Colorado at Children’s Hospital. Dr. Feldman completed a chief residency year and worked for both Children’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Medical Center before joining the Colorado Permanente Medical Group in 2007. After 10 years as a pediatric hospitalist, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2016 to complete a yearlong pediatric palliative care fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Minnesota. She returned to Colorado with her family in 2017 and has since been supporting Kaiser pediatric patients with complex illness and their families. Dr. Feldman continues to help advance the field of palliative care at Children’s Hospital by focusing on each family’s unique needs to allow their child to live as long as possible, as well as possible.

In her free time, Dr. Feldman enjoys focusing on the simple things like bedtime stories and eating together as a family with her husband and two children. During the summers, she enjoys being part of her family’s summer camp organization. This opportunity has become a wonderful way of acknowledging the healing power of nature and community.

Eleanor Jensen, DO, BA
Long Term Care Director

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Daniel Johnson, MD, FAAHPM
Physician Lead for Palliative Care and Life Care Planning, Care Management Institute, Kaiser Permanente
Director, KPCO Culture Matters

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Dr. Daniel Johnson is a happily married father of three boys, Colorado native, and practicing palliative medicine physician. He completed hisi undergraduate training in geophysical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and practiced as a geophysicist for nearly ten years before retraining in medicine. Dr. Johnson completed medical school, residency, and fellowship in internal medicine at the University of Colorado. He is a Soros Faculty Scholar for the Project on Death in America, a graduate of the Harvard Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice, and a recipient of the Hasting’s Center Cuniff-Dixon Physician Award (2013).

Dr. Johnson now serves as the National Physician Lead for Specialty Palliative Care and Life Care Planning at Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute. He also directs KP-Colorado’s Culture Matters – a program focused on fostering more effective collaboration and compassion in healthcare. When not doctoring, Dan loves to mountain bike, camp, fly fish and ski with family and friends.

Valerie Devanney, MD
Hospice & Palliative Medicine
Lutheran Medical Center and Collier Hospice

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"Dr. Val" is board certified in internal medicine and completed her fellowship in hospice and palliative care at the University of Colorado at Anschutz Medical Campus. She completed both medical school and residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Val feels most at home at the patient’s bedside and with their families. She feels that palliative care preserves humanism in medicine by maintaining patient-centered care to achieve optimal quality of life, emphasizing the importance of her patients “living” rather than “dying” with their chronic illness. She recognizes the value of strong communication between patient and providers, and strives to provide peace and clarity for patients and families during trialing times by preserving time at the bedside. Her passion lies in the value of educating the public regarding the value of early advanced care planning and advanced directives.

Dr. Val was born and raised in Coral Springs, Florida where she attended high school in Parkland at Stoneman Douglas High School. She was a competitive Division 1 swimmer, competing both at the national and international level. She has since retired to Masters Swimming and still enjoys the occasional long distance open water races.

When not with her patients, Dr. Val loves to spend time with her fiancé, swim, and maintain an active presence in her church. She is an Orange Theory Fitness enthusiast and enjoys quality time with friends & family. Se habla español.

Brittany Fuentes, LCSW
Palliative Care Social Worker/Co-Lead

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Brittany Fuentes was born and raised in Colorado. After high school, she moved to Davidson, North Carolina to attend Davidson College where she graduated with a B.S. in psychology in 2002. Wanting to pursue a career in social work, Brittany began working on her Masters in Social Work (MSW) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her MSW in the spring of 2004. It was at UNC that Brittany first developed a passion for the field of hospice and palliative medicine through a grief class and later an internship at Duke Community Hospice. When Brittany returned to Colorado in 2005 she continued her work in end of life care by taking a job with Hospice of Saint John.

In 2008, Brittany began work in palliative care at Good Samaritan Medical Center and quickly moved to Saint Joseph Hospital to join their palliative care team, a partnership between SCL Health and Kaiser. For the past 10 years, Brittany has been a social worker on the team and most recently the social work lead. Additionally, Brittany provides clinical supervision to care management social workers and serves on the faculty for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship program.

J. Cody Hufstedler, MTS, BCC
Palliative Care Chaplain
Inpatient Palliative Care Co-Lead

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Cody grew up in Dallas, Texas. He holds a B.S. degree in biblical studies from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. After five years of working in churches in Texas and Utah, he moved to Denver to pursue a master of theological studies degree from Iliff School of Theology. After completing his graduate degree, he completed five units of clinical pastoral education during a chaplain residency at Saint Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado. As his residency came to an end, he began working at the Hospice of Saint John in Denver. Soon thereafter, he joined the Inpatient Palliative Care Team at Saint Joseph Hospital.

Cody is a board-certified chaplain, endorsed by the American Humanist Association. He has worked with the Inpatient Palliative Care Team at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver since 2013. He serves on the hospital ethics committee, is the lead chaplain for the Inpatient Palliative Care Team, and organizes frequent happy hour events for the team.

Outside of his work in the hospital, Cody enjoys backpacking, skiing, reading, cooking/eating, spending time with his wife and daughter, and general merriment.

Arvin Gill, MD
Area Specialty Chief – Supportive Care

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I grew up in Peoria, Illinois, getting my B.S. in honors biology at the University of Illinois. I went to medical school and completed my medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and couple’s matched in internal medicine (with my wife in psychiatry) for residency at the University of Michigan. I joined the U of M Outpatient Medicine faculty after residency in 1997 and became a clinical assistant professor along with a formal medical student teaching role, and the clinic chief role through 2008. I then moved to Denver for my wife’s job in 2008 and took a couple years off to be an at home dad and remodel my house.

In 2010 I joined Kaiser Permanente as an internist at East Medical Center. I did a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the University of Colorado in 2012 and came back to KP to be a home-based supportive care physician in 2013. I took on a supportive care chief role in 2014, with my current interest in developing a more robust home-based supportive care program and improving systems of care for seriously ill patients in CPMG. I also recently focused on developing structured goals of care discussions in our patients with advanced dementia.

Lise Barbour, MD
Kaiser Permanente
Palliative Care Clinical Faculty

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Dr. Lise Barbour grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She attended the University of Virginia, where she graduated with a B.A. in biology. She then deferred starting medical school for two years, teaching biology at a boarding school in England for the first year and volunteering as a cancer educator through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Bend, Oregon in the second. This experience began her love of working with patients experiencing serious illness. She attended medical school at Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans, where she created and co-taught an elective on “End of Life Care” matching medical students with hospice patients. She completed both her combined internal medicine-pediatrics residency and hospice/palliative medicine fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

She joined Kaiser Permanente Colorado as her first job out of training in 2007 and has never looked back. In her 12 years at CPMG, she has seen patients in their homes, the hospital and the outpatient clinics. She also serves as the Director of Retention and Wellness in the CPMG HR Department, working to develop recognition and wellness programming for all CPMG physicians. Lise loves practicing yoga and cooking with her husband and two daughters.

Andrew R. Robinson, MD
North Area Specialty Chief
Supportive Care Department

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Andy Robinson grew up in Chattanooga and did his undergraduate in Charlottesville and medical school in Nashville. He finally found his true home in Colorado when he moved to Denver to do his internal medicine residency at the University of Colorado. After 16 years practicing general internal medicine, he left Denver for a year to complete his Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship in Washington, D.C. and then returned home. His interests in palliative medicine are broad and include complex symptom management and ethical challenges. His greatest joy in work comes from his daily face-to-face interactions with patients and families, and he is sustained by the support of his team. Outside of work, he spends as much time in the mountains as his husband and dogs will allow.

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