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Empathy in Action: Dr. Smith's Journey as Hospice Medical Director
Published May 21, 2024

Dr. JoAnne Smith started her healthcare journey back in the 80's, working as a patient care technician. Once she became an LVN, she planned to enroll in the bachelor's program in nursing. However, many of her credits would not transfer, but she found they would transfer to the NSU Medical School. She graduated from the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine in 1989. She moved to Andalusia, AL, in 1991 to practice medicine. She became involved with hospice in the early 1990s as a medical director. In 2003, along with Lisa Teel, MSW, and Kenny Holt, RN, Dr. Smith opened the Andalusia branch of Comfort Care Hospice, which became Aveanna Hospice in 2021, and has been serving our community as the Medical Director there ever since.

Lisa Teel said it best when she stated the following about Dr. Smith: "With Dr. Smith, patients and families come first, and she is truly a team player who is available day or night to help advise our clinicians on how to better care for our patients." I've had the pleasure of working with Dr. Smith for 28 years, and what makes her a great medical director is that she simply cares about our patients and the staff at Aveanna Hospice. It is more than a job, and she works very closely with other hospice team members to ensure that our patients have the best quality of life possible and that we are there and present when we are needed the most. I am very thankful that we have such a caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable medical director to help guide us at Aveanna Hospice of Andalusia. Dr. Smith truly makes a forever difference each and every day in the lives of so many, and we are fortunate to have her on our team.”