Hillcrest embraces growth in palliative care, names new medical director

With growth in the Palliative Care Program, Hillcrest Health Services has named Dr. Natalie Manley, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Palliative Care Services. She will also serve as Associate Medical Director for Hillcrest Hospice Care.

Dr. Manley is an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and holds a certification in geriatric medicine and medical direction in post-acute and long-term care. She received her MD and MPH from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Manley completed residency training and geriatric fellowship at the University of Utah in, Salt Lake City. She completed an advanced geriatric fellowship at the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

“I’m so excited to join the Hillcrest palliative care team,” said Dr. Manley. “I look forward to enhancing lives through palliative and hospice care and helping educate our community about the valuable services.”

Aside from palliative and hospice care, Dr. Manley’s academic interests also include nursing home care, caregiver strain and support, veterans as caregivers and education in community and nursing home care for medical students and residents.

Staying active in research and education, she is a co-investigator on a grant for a dementia care program intended to improve the quality of life for people with dementia as well as their caregivers. Dr. Manley has published computer-based educational materials and participated in educational video publications. She is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Directors Association and the American Geriatrics Society.

Dr. Manley is joining Brandy Anderson, MSN, APRN, who on the palliative care team. Anderson, a nurse practitioner, has been with Hillcrest’s Palliative Care Services since February 2016.

“Hillcrest is the largest provider of palliative care services in Omaha, with more than 100 patients on service today,” said Reggie Ripple, Vice President of Home & Community Services. “With Dr. Manley’s oversight, we look forward to growing our services further and helping support more patients with managing the symptoms of chronic illness.”

Hillcrest’s Palliative Care Program provides an innovative approach to managing pain and symptoms of a chronic or life-threatening disease. The patient- and family-centered care is intended to improve quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. Through palliative care at home, Hillcrest provides an option for those who aren’t ready for hospice care. The palliative care medical team works closely with the care team of in-home geriatricians, nurses, social workers and therapists, along with the patient’s family, to provide compassion, comfort and control.