Thomas J. Smith, MD, FACP, FASCO, FAAHPM
ASCO recognized Thomas J. Smith, MD, FACP, FASCO, FAAHPM, a leader in the field of oncology palliative care, with its Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture. Dr. Smith accepted his award and delivered a keynote address at the 2019 Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium in October in San Francisco. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to palliative care practice and research in oncology.
“I have always felt that palliative care was simply part of oncology, and that oncologists are especially suited to providing primary palliative care,” said Dr. Smith. “We know our patients and their families and are best positioned to help them cope with the successes, failures, and symptoms of cancer and its treatment. Palliative care is just good medicine and nursing—better care at a cost we can afford.” Dr. Smith is currently Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Director of Palliative Medicine for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Care.
“We commend Dr. Smith on a standout career, devoted to patient-centered care,” said Thomas W. Grein, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walther Cancer Foundation. “The Walther Cancer Foundation is proud to support ASCO in efforts to bring palliative and supportive care to all patients living with cancer.”
Research Interests and Contributions
Dr. Smith’s research interests include symptom management, end-of-life care, provider-patient communication, and improving access to high-quality affordable cancer care. Seminal work by Dr. Smith and his colleagues was the first to show that palliative care at the end of life improved patient symptoms and helped patients to maintain their quality of life while also demonstrating a significant cost savings for palliative care programs through reduced hospital admissions and other factors. A more than 30-year member of ASCO, Dr. Smith has made myriad contributions to the field and to the Society. In 2008, Dr. Smith was recognized with the ASCO Statesman Award for outstanding service.■