Albany Med Faculty and Staff Collaborate on Palliative Medicine Book


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Albany Med Faculty and Staff Collaborate on Palliative Medicine Book

July 31, 2014 - Albany , NY

ALBANY, N.Y., July 31, 2014 - Two years after the late Howard Smith, M.D., 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 was approximately one quarter completed. Upon his death, long-time 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, M.D., '98, Ph.D., 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."

In addition to Pilitsis and Seidner, Albany Med contributing authors include: Charles Bakhos, M.D., M.S.; Abdul Qadir Brula, M.D.; Joannalee Campbell, Ph.D.; Lorraine Cox, N.P.; Tom Fabian, M.D.; Douglas Fish, M.D.; Shiveindra Jeyamohan, M.D.; Paul MacMahon, M.D.; Laura Maselli, L.M.S.W.; Boris Medarov, M.D.; Intikhab Mohsin, M.D.; Saroj Pani, M.D.; Purvi Parikh, M.D.; Vikas Parmar, M.D.; Joanne Porter, M.D.; Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, M.D.; Farhan Sheikh, M.D.; Amilyn Taplin, M.D.; and Bruce White, D.O., J.D.

Smith was most recently professor of anesthesiology and medical director of pre-operative services. He held numerous board certifications, including anesthesiology, pain management, internal medicine, palliative care and nuclear medicine. He was editor-in-chief of two pain journals - Pain Physician and Journal of Pain Research, and was actively involved with the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Dr. Pilitsis is the only neurosurgeon in the region with subspecialty training in functional neurosurgery. A graduate of Albany Medical College, she also has a PhD in neurophysiology. She is active in organized neurosurgery at a national level, currently serving as Chair of the Pain Section, Chair of Women in Neurosurgery, and Executive Council member of the Stereotactic and Functional Section. She continues to actively publish and perform research in the field.

The Art and Science of Palliative Care is available through Amazon and Ebay.

Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region's largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region's health and quality of life. For more information: or


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