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Covenant Health Welcomes Medical Director for Palliative and Hospice Care

Posted on May 21, 2013

The prognosis isn’t good. But life goes on. Millions of people grapple with the debilitating effects of cancer, dementia, heart and lung disease and kidney disease, trying to carve out a better quality of life. Now Covenant Health has a program to help.

Palliative care is relatively new to the Knoxville area. It provides care for patients after they have received diagnoses that are life-limiting, but before they are ready for hospice. It is a medical specialty, and can be accessed by making a request for palliative care to a patient’s attending physician. Palliative care is important because it helps to provide for a better quality of life, and in some cases has been shown to prolong life in conjunction with other standard treatments. Dr. Wooten says palliative care also provides emotional support and guidance for patients and their families.

David Wooten, MD
David Wooten, MD

Covenant Health is pleased to announce David Wooten, MD, has been named medical director of Hospice and the new Palliative Care program at Covenant Health. Dr. Wooten brings 18 years of experience directing hospice and palliative care programs, in addition to a career in medicine that spans nearly three decades. Board certified, Dr. Wooten is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, UT College of Medicine, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has also practiced internal medicine locally for 28 years.

“Palliative care sees patients in hospital intensive care units who have a poor prognosis,” Dr. Wooten explains, “and helps patients and families decide when it is appropriate to withdraw care that is likely to be ineffective or contradict patient wishes or advance directives.”

“Palliative care focuses on management of symptoms such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, or other symptoms that may be distressing,” says Dr. Wooten. “We see patients with cancer, chronic medical illnesses including dementia, heart and lung disease, advanced liver or kidney disease, and any patients with a life threatening illness.”

Covenant Health has a long standing reputation of excellence in the area of hospice care. Hospice is designed to serve patients who have stopped aggressive or life prolonging treatments, and have reached the final six months of life.

Both hospice and palliative care involve a team approach with a medical director, advanced practice nurses, social workers, and chaplain. Covenant Homecare and Hospice provides services in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties. For more information, visit or call (865) 374-0600.

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