Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare has named Jodi Hannan, MD, medical director. She succeeds David Lance, DO, who retired as medical director in December 2020 after almost 30 years of service. For the past 12 years, Dr. Hannan has been a physician with Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare and is looking forward to continuing her work with patients and families in her new role.
“We’re pleased to introduce Dr. Jodi Hannan as our new medical director. As a fellowship-trained hospice and palliative care physician, Dr. Hannan brings many years of experience and expertise,” said Kurt Holmes, executive director of Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare. “Her vision and leadership will strengthen our commitment to our mission of providing superior care and superior services to our patients and families.”
Dr. Hannan has found hospice and palliative care to be a rewarding profession. “It is such an honor to be welcomed into patients’ homes and help with their care,” Dr. Hannan said. “I am glad for the opportunity to be able to help get difficult symptoms under control. But I feel like I make the biggest difference when patients and families have questions that they haven’t been able to get answers to previously.”
She has found that patients and families may have questions about what happened during a recent hospitalization prior to hospice. They also have questions about the disease processes or medication options. She takes time to answer their questions and explains what to expect during the patient’s last days.
Born in Cleveland, Dr. Hannan grew up in Massillon, Ohio. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She earned her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. She completed a residency in family medicine at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. After residency, she practiced in Waynesburg, Ohio, in Stark County. In addition to traditional family medicine outpatient visits, Dr. Hannan supervised residents in the residency program and delivered babies.
In 2007, Dr. Hannan and her family moved to Wooster, where she practiced family medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Wooster Family Health Center from 2007 to 2009, until she left to start a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Akron City Hospital. Her husband Scott Hannan, MD, is a family physician in Wooster. They have twin sons.
Dr. Hannan’s interest in hospice and palliative care was sparked by an experience in high school when her mother visited a college friend of hers who was in hospice care. “She talked about what a great help hospice was to her friend,” Dr. Hannan said. “So, when I saw hospice as an elective during my fourth year of medical school, I decided to sign up for it.”
It was her favorite clinical rotation of medical school. She had the opportunity to spend time with the nurses, social workers and chaplains. But at the time, hospice was not a full-time career for physicians.
“After a few years in practice, I saw that things had changed and that many local hospices had their own physicians,” Dr. Hannan said. “I reached out to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare and discovered that they were looking for some part-time help. After a few months of helping cover team meetings and being on call, I decided that I wanted to make the move to work in hospice full time.”
This was in the era when Dr. Hannan could have “grandfathered in” and become certified in hospice care by working in the field. But she decided to return to training and complete a year-long hospice and palliative medicine fellowship.
“I felt this would give me the best arsenal of tools to help our hospice and palliative medicine patients,” Dr. Hannan said. “After completing the fellowship, I joined Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare as a hospice physician.”
Since then, she has enjoyed working with patients and their families. “At Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, our mission is to celebrate the lives of those we have the privilege of serving by providing superior care and superior services to each patient and family,” she said. “I’m honored and privileged to be a part of a care team that works together to meet the needs of each individual patient.”
Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, a not-for-profit organization established in 1982, is an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice that serves communities in Wayne, Holmes, Ashland and Medina counties. It embodies the spirit of neighbors caring for neighbors with a commitment to relieve suffering, ease fears, and provide companionship along life’s last journey. Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare addresses patient and family needs wherever the patient calls home. Services also include access to the Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Inpatient Pavilion, providing short-term patient care to manage acute symptoms, adjust medications, or stabilize patient condition.