Zail Berry, M.D., left, with Joan Madison, M.D., and Estelle Deane after receiving her award at the VNA’s “Evening of Gratitude” event. (Photo: Courtesy of the VNA of Chittenden & Grand Isle Counties)
The Madison-Deane Education Fund presented the inaugural Madison-Deane Award for Excellence in End-of-Life Care to Zail Berry, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, at the program’s “Evening of Gratitude” event held October 24, 2017 at Burlington Country Club.
Housed within the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties’ Hospice and Palliative Care program, the Madison-Deane Education Fund has been known as the Madison-Deane Initiative (MDI) for the past twenty years. The program was established by Joan Madison, M.D., and Estelle Deane, who both lost their physician husbands to pancreatic cancer. Their aim was to expand education for physicians and caregivers in advancing quality care for those who are dying and to encourage them to serve as catalysts for the acceptance of death as a natural part of life. The program’s mission is to transform end-of-life care through education, collaboration and inspiration.
The VNA Madison-Deane Award for Excellence in End-of-Life Care was established in 2017 as the Madison-Deane Initiative [MDI] transitioned to the VNA Madison-Deane Education Fund. The award recognizes a Vermont individual, group or organization that exemplifies the original mission and vision of MDI, thereby continuing the legacy of the program’s namesakes, James Madison, M.D. and Robert Deane, M.D. and their intent.
Berry, who is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospital and palliative medicine, received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine and completed a residency in primary care internal medicine at UCSF. She then went on to complete a fellowship in primary care internal medicine at George Washington University Medical Center Department of Health Care Sciences, where she also received a master’s degree in public health. She was the founding medical director of the palliative care program at the former Fletcher Allen Health Care and served as co-medical director of the Hospice of the Champlain Valley for more than ten years. Berry joined the UVM faculty in 1996 and is currently a hospice and palliative care internal medicine specialist at the UVM Medical Center. She is also associate medical director of VNA’s Hospice and Palliative Care Program.
"In recognition of her advocacy for end-of-life care education in Vermont, and her leadership in the field of palliative medicine, the committee voted unanimously to present Dr. Zail Berry with the inaugural VNA Madison-Deane Award for Excellence in End-of-Life-Care," said Madison and Deane. "Since 1997, she has been an integral part of Madison-Deane Initiative, a friend and tireless ambassador. In addition to her active role in our annual presentations, she has provided the faculty support for MDI’s educational palliative care series for UVM medical students for the past 10 years.”