1. Ferrell, Betty R. PhD, RN, MA, CHPN, FAAN, FPCN

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In my career I have known many, many nurses who I admire deeply. One of the finest nurses that I have known I would like to honor with this issue of JHPN, Patrick Coyne, MSN, ACHPN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, FPCN. Patrick, like many nurses, took what I call "the long road" to nursing practice having first worked as an orderly, then his Associate Degree in nursing from Mt. Ida College in Massachusetts in 1978. He then completed his Bachelors Degree in Nursing in 1982 from Niagara University and Masters Degree in Nursing in 1984 at the University of Texas El Paso.

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Last month Patrick "retired" from his position as Director of Palliative Care at the Medical University of South Carolina. This role as a Director of a Palliative Care Program in a major academic center was a shining star for nursing. Patrick developed and led an interdisciplinary palliative care service that is among the best in the nation, receiving the 2019 Circle of Life Award given by the American Hospital Association. In this role Patrick demonstrated for the country that nurses are not only essential to the delivery of palliative care, nurses also create, develop, and lead palliative care.


I met Patrick in 1991 in the evolving world of cancer pain management. Patrick had recently completed his service as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force (1986-1991) and had begun a role as a CNS in Pain Management. Those were very challenging times in the initial national efforts to advocate for the assessment and treatment of patients in pain. I often think that we nurses who began in pain management had a great preparation to then move into the broader world of palliative care.


Patrick has received many well-deserved recognitions over has career including induction as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2004), Fellow of Palliative Care Nursing (2009), AAHPM Top 30 Visionary in Palliative Care (2014), and in 2018 he was awarded HPNA's Distinguished Career Achievement Award.


After a decade of knowing Patrick as a pain colleague, in 2000 I invited him to join the newly launched ELNEC project where he has served as a faculty member and senior advisor for more than 20 years. Over these years I have learned a lot from Patrick, and I would like to share four key lessons that are relevant for all nurses in our field, especially our newer colleagues. The lessons are:


Stay close to the patient. In every setting and in every role, Patrick has stayed close to the bedside, with a constant knowledge of the real needs of patients and families. As a senior leader Patrick has continued his clinical practice and whether advocating in a board room or lecturing in a classroom, he was able to bring the voice of the patients he had cared for each week.


Make care of the most vulnerable your priority. Patrick has a consistent record across his career of insuring that the most vulnerable communities are served. His commitment to rural health, poor populations, prisoners, and diverse communities is a model for all professionals. In recent years he has launched a nationally funded telehealth palliative care program serving very neglected communities, yet another model to guide our profession. Patrick also has a long record of legislative advocacy, taking his bedside experiences to the state capital to advocate for health policy change.


Expert clinicians have an obligation to teach and mentor others. Patrick's clinical leadership and direct patient care have been matched by his dedication to training others and to mentor them in their careers. His teaching and mentorship have included clinicians in every discipline. His influence is seen in palliative care programs around the country and the world as APRNs and physicians mentored by Patrick are leading programs, and now training others. Patrick's teaching and mentorship have extended beyond the U.S. for international impact. In recent years he obtained funding to provide palliative care rounds held by his team at MUSC with colleagues in Kenya. He also this year was named a Fulbright Scholar, serving as a leadership mentor to Romania. I have had the opportunity to be with Patrick in several countries and I am always in awe of his ability to offer genuine mentorship, and partnership across continents.


Balance a lifetime of professional commitment to palliative care with a personal life filled with love and joy. Patrick's commitment to our profession is met with a personal commitment to family and friends, joy and love. As I think about my times with Patrick over the past 30 years, most every memory also includes times of laughter and joy. His love of sailing and fishing, his family and travel adventures is apparent. He reminds us that to do the often-draining work of palliative care we must refill our own souls.



One final observation I will share is that Patrick tries hard to be a bit of a curmudgeon but he's not fooling anyone. If you ever met Patrick, you know that his heart is enormous, his compassion is deep, and he is a very kind soul. I know that in this time of his retiring from his leadership role at MUSC, Patrick intends to continue in some capacity in clinical care and consultation. I sense that there is also a plan for more time sailing.


Thank you, Patrick, for all you have done across your career, HPNA has a motto of "leading the way" and you have indeed shown us how to do just that.


Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN, MA, CHPN, FAAN, FPCN


JHPN Editor-in-chief