Compassus – Lakeside Physicians Earn National Award

LAKESIDE, Ariz. – Compassus Medical Directors Leon Driss, M.D., Alan Dewitt, M.D., and Scott Hamblin, M.D., were recently awarded the R. Sean Morrison, M.D. Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hospice Physician Leadership. The inaugural award was presented at a national meeting of Compassus medical directors to recognize Compassus programs and physicians for their leadership in continuing to raise industry benchmarks for quality hospice care nationwide.


Dr. Driss, Dr. Dewitt and Dr. Hamblin were recognized for their performance in the four criteria for the award:


  • Recognition as a knowledgeable hospice and palliative care resource in the local community
  • Involvement in determining and driving quality indicators and charting a course for excellence in patient care
  • Interest and ability in promoting the Compassus quality initiative locally and to others in the hospice industry
  • Effective and consistent participation in coordination of patients’ care with the larger hospice care team

“I believe that just as much as Compassus has been ahead of the curve on the national quality initiative, we have also been ahead of the curve with regard to our involvement with physicians, charging us to become leaders in improving quality standards for hospice care and in educating others on the role of hospice in the larger continuum of care,” said Dr. Driss.


Dr. Driss has been practicing in White Mountains, Arizona, since 2000. He has a traditional practice of both inpatient and outpatient care. Dr. Driss is board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics.


“We are pleased to accept this award on behalf of the entire Compassus – Lakeside team and its tireless efforts to set the bar ever higher when it comes to treating hospice patients with exceptional care and compassion,” said Dr. Dewitt.


Dr. Dewitt is a family medicine physician in Snowflake, Arizona, and is also affiliated with Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center. He is certified in family medicine and hospice and palliative care by the American Board of Family Medicine.


“We will continue to raise the industry benchmarks for quality hospice care nationwide to provide the Lakeside community with the most accessible and highest quality patient care,” said Dr. Hamblin.


Dr. Hamblin is an internist at Mountain Avenue Clinic in Eagar, Arizona. He received the Vitals Patients’ Choice Award in 2015 and Compassionate Doctor Recogntion in 2014.


The Compassus “Triple Crown” awards were established in 2012 to highlight the programs, physicians, and staff that best demonstrate the company’s commitment to delivering quality patient outcomes, increasing access to hospice services, and to physician leadership.


The R. Sean Morrison, M.D. Award is named to honor the achievements of Dr. Sean Morrison, a professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Geriatrics. He is a past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is the recipient of their national leadership award. Dr. Morrison is a world-renowned authority and advocate on the subject of hospice and palliative care and has published more than 100 research articles and 15 books on the subject.


“As one of the largest hospice providers in the U.S., Compassus is setting a standard of excellence in raising awareness and expanding access to hospice care not only for our sister programs but for all other hospice providers throughout the country, and we are proud to be leading the charge in Lakeside,” said Debra Brackey, executive director of Compassus – Lakeside.


Compassus took a voluntary, proactive lead in setting new quality standards for the hospice industry by launching the “Keeping the Promise” initiative last year, including a commitment to becoming a physician-driven organization and expanding access to high quality hospice care to those who need it.


In 2012, Compassus became the first hospice provider in the U.S. to publicly reveal patient quality data, setting the standard by which all U.S. hospice providers are measured. Compassus will continue to carry out its national quality initiative until 100 percent compliance is achieved through continuous action in the Casa Grande area and each of its community-based hospice programs across the U.S.