Continuing Care

New Medical Directors Join Spectrum Health Continuing Care

Spectrum Health Continuing Care has appointed two new medical directors to help lead its post-acute program.

John A. Mulder, MD, is the new medical director of Spectrum Health Palliative Care Services and Susan M. Howard, MD, is a new medical director of Spectrum Health Hospice. Both physicians assumed their posts this summer.

“We are very pleased that Drs. Mulder and Howard have joined us at this time,” said Jeffery S. Lemon, president, Spectrum Health Continuing Care. “The need for patients to receive a full continuum of heath care services has never been greater. Our programs are greatly enhanced by having two skilled physicians of this caliber leading our teams.”

Mulder has extensive palliative care and hospice background, with more than two decades of experience in end of life care. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University, and his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. Mulder currently holds appointments as a clinical professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Department of Family Medicine.

Palliative care is the relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness with the goal of improving quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative Care also assists in decision making regarding direction of care and leading discussions on advance directives with patients and families.’ As medical director, Mulder will help improve the quality and scope of these services at Spectrum Health.

‘Howard was most recently a palliative care physician with St. Mary’s Health Care. She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Michigan State University College of Nursing in East Lansing, Michigan, and her medical degree from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (formerly The Chicago Medical School) in North Chicago, Illinois, and completed a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative medicine in Chicago at Stroger Hospital (formerly Cook County Hospital) Midwest Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

Howard will assist with the continued growth of Spectrum Health Hospice, the only hospice program in Grand Rapids affiliated with a hospital system.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites and approximately 500,000-member health plan, Priority Health.’ Spectrum Health’s 14,000 employees, 1,500 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need.’ The organization provided $98.6 million in community benefit during its 2007 fiscal year. Spectrum Health has earned nearly 70 national awards during the past 10 years.