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Albany Med Faculty and Staff Collaborate to Complete Book in Memory of Beloved Colleague


Two years after the late Howard Smith, MD, began work on a book on pain medicine and end-of-life care, a team of nearly two dozen of his Albany Medical Center colleagues have published this work to assist clinicians worldwide.

Smith, an anesthesiologist at Albany Med for 23 years and a respected leader in pain management, succumbed to a sudden heart attack in May of 2013, when his book,
“The Art and Science of Palliative Medicine,” was about a quarter complete. Upon his death, longtime associate Pya Seidner contacted the publisher, AME Publishing, to ensure the work would be continued. 

“My heart was poured into having this book completed as Howard’s legacy,” said Seidner. “It is what he would have wanted.”

Albany Med neurosurgeon Julie Pilitsis, MD, ’98, PhD, stepped in as co-editor of the book.

“Dr. Smith was a great mentor to me, and I am honored to have helped add closure to one of the last projects he was so passionate about,” said Dr. Pilitsis. “I am a better provider for having this knowledge of palliative medicine, and I am confident that using this text will afford readers the same experience.”

Albany Med contributing authors include: Charles Bakhos, MD, MS; Abdul Qadir Brula, MD; Joannalee Campbell, PhD; Lorraine Cox, NP; Thomas Fabian, MD; Douglas Fish, MD; Shiveindra Jeyamohan, MD; Paul MacMahon, MD; Laura Maselli, LMSW; Boris Medarov, MD; Intikhab Mohsin, MD; Saroj Pani, MD; Purvi Parikh, MD; Vikas Parmar, MD; Joanne Porter, MD; Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, MD; Farhan Sheikh, MD; Amilyn Taplin, MD, and Bruce White, DO, JD.

Dr. Smith was most recently professor of anesthesiology and medical director of Preoperative Services. He held board certifications in anesthesiology, pain management, internal medicine, palliative care and nuclear medicine.

Dr. Pilitsis, the only neurosurgeon in the region with subspecialty training in functional neurosurgery, is active in national neurosurgery organizations.

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