Dr. Ira Byock is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life.
He serves as Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer for the Institute for Human Caring of Providence Health and Services, a 35 hospital health system serving communities across 5 western states. Dr. Byock advances efforts to measure, monitor and improve person-centered care systemwide. He is a practicing physician and is based in Torrance, CA.
Dr. Byock is Professor of Medicine and Community & Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He served as Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire from 2003 through July 2013.
He has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978, during his residency. At that time he helped found a hospice home care program for the indigent population served by the university hospital and county clinics of Fresno, California. He is a Past President (1997) of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. During the 1990s he was a co-founder and principal investigator for the Missoula Demonstration Project, a community-based organization in Montana dedicated to the research and transformation of end-of-life experience locally, as a demonstration of what is possible nationally. From 1996 through 2006, he served as Director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national grant program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Byock has authored numerous peer-reviewed acedemic articles on the ethics and practice of care. His research has led to conceptual frameworks for the lived experience of advanced illness, subjective quality of life measures, and simple, effective life-completion counseling. His leadership in development of groundbreaking prototypes for concurrent care of people through the end of life has been foundational to advancing patient-centered care.