Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care’s Dr. Helen Kao
The American Geriatrics Society named Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care’s Dr. Helen Kao as its Clinician of the Year. (Photo by Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care)

The American Geriatrics Society last week named Dr. Helen S. Kao as its Clinician of the Year. Kao, who is medical director of Clinical Innovations at Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care in Corvallis and adjunct professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine will be honored at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting on May 12-14 in Orlando, Florida.

“Our 2022 Clinician of the Year, Dr. Helen Kao, is an exceptional physician who provides exemplary care through many different care settings with a holistic, patient-centered focus,” AGS President Peter Hollmann said through a press release.

Kao, a board-certified physician in internal medicine with certificates of added qualifications in geriatrics and hospice and palliative care, has created programs to serve older adults with advanced and terminal illnesses. In her current role at Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care, Kao continues to develop and provide palliative and geriatrics services by overseeing a growing palliative case management program.

Previously, she directed UCSF’s house calls program and was responsible for tripling its capacity to serve older adults.

“Providing care that is equitable, ethical and socially aware is at the heart of Dr. Kao’s clinical practice,” said Elizabeth French, Lumina’s executive director. “Dr. Kao demonstrates a strong belief that aging, or life-limiting illness, should not strip someone of their rights, choices and dignity, or their ability to live as full and healthy a life as possible.”