Dr. Tina Smusz is a founding member of Sojourn Center and vice president of the board since 2013. She is a recently retired Hospice and Palliative Care physician who introduced the palliative care specialty to New River Valley hospitals in 2005. An M.D. since 1986, she did her residency in family medicine at Charlotte Memorial Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. She returned home to the New River Valley and practiced emergency medicine for 15 years before retraining in hospice and palliative care through Harvard Medical School’s program in palliative care education and practice. She was a founding faculty member for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Palliative Care Fellowship and taught as assistant professor in medicine from 2010 – 2014. From 2004 until retirement, she was hospice medical director for Carilion Hospice of the New River Valley. Dr. Smusz also taught hospice, palliative care, and medical ethics at Edward Via Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Her passion is educating others in ways that improve the end-of-life journey.
“In 2006, I met with two hospice nurses whose dream was to establish a house where hospice patients could die in peace and comfort when they lack a caregiver, or when discomforts escalate beyond what can be managed at home. This is a recurring need that presents a huge stress for the dying person, their loved ones, and the devoted hospice team. I believe our community could embrace the responsibility of providing shelter, compassion, and expert management of suffering to those in need. Sojourn Center grew out of this need and the confidence in the goodness and generosity of the New River Valley community.”