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Dr. Dobbertin and Dr. Ready Receive Award for Excellence

by | Nov 20, 2023 | In the News

**UPDATED CORRECTION** The initial press release below was incomplete, as it did not identify Northern Counties Health Care or the importance of hospice care. The press release has been updated to reflect that Dr. Ready – Hospice Medical Director for Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice – and Dr. Dobbertin received the prestigious award for their work through the Palliative Care department at NVRH and Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice.

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (November 20, 2023) – Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) is excited to announce that palliative care provider Dr. Joyce Dobbertin, MD, DC and Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice Hospice Medical Director Dr. Mary Ready, MD have received the 2023 Madison-Deane Award for Excellence in End-of-Life Care from the University of Vermont (UVM).

The Madison-Deane Award for Excellence in End-of-Life Care is awarded to a Vermont individual, group or organization that exemplifies the vision and legacy of Dr. James Madison, MD and Dr. Robert Deane, MD.

After both Dr. James Madison and Dr. Robert Deane died from pancreatic cancer, their wives, Dr. Joan Madison and the late Estelle Deane created the Madison-Deane Initiative, an end-of-life education program at the University of Vermont Health Network Home Health & Hospice.

According to a 2021 Shelburne News article, Dr. James Madison and his family “were so appreciative of the care he received from hospice that he wanted any donations in his memory be used to establish an educational program to assist all caregivers in providing end-of-life care.”

Dr. Joyce Dobbertin

“To receive this prestigious award is an honor,” Dr. Dobbertin said. “Often the accomplishments of people in the Burlington area are recognized. This award recognizes how the Northeast Kingdom healthcare community works hard to deliver quality care at the end of life.”

Ten years ago, and with the full support of NVRH, Dr. Dobbertin and Dr. Ready started the Palliative Care Department. While they saw approximately 160 patients that first year, they now average close to that number on a monthly basis. The team has also expanded to include Kelly Lemieux, NP; Anne Cowles, NP and Elizabeth Newman, MD.

A fellow from UVM recently did a rural rotation with NVRH Palliative Care. A fellow is a provider who is pursuing additional training, and in this case, as a Board Certified Palliative and Hospice physician.

“During the fellow’s rotation with our team, she was impressed with how integrated palliative care is in the NEK,” Dobbertin added. “She attended meetings with outpatient clinics, inpatient care teams, the palliative team, and weekly hospice meetings. She also went to nursing homes and home visits – all places palliative providers meet with patients.”

To be nominated for the Madison-Deane Award for Excellence in End-of-Life Care, nominees must be a Vermont resident or organization and reflect the original mission, vision, and intent of Dr. Madison and Dr. Deane. According to UVM’s Home Health & Hospice webpage, nominees must be a catalyst for the acceptance of death as a natural part of life; a leader for education, information and resources relevant to end-of-life issues and support those who encourage dialog about how individuals and families face life-threatening illness.

“Dr. Dobbertin and I are grateful to live and practice in a community that is open and willing to talk about death and dying, even when it hurts to do

Dr. Mary Ready

so,” Dr. Mary Ready said. “Thank you to all the people – patients, family members, nurses, LNAs, EMS, social workers, other providers – who make our work so deeply rewarding.”

“It really is a team effort.” Dr. Dobbertin added. “And I am pleased that we received this award, because it is really the whole team who received the award.”

“We are extraordinarily proud of Dr. Ready, Dr. Dobbertin, our entire hospice team and the palliative care team at NVRH,”  Caledonia Home Health Care and Hospice Director Treny Burgess said.

To learn more about palliative care at NVRH, visit