Dr. Christopher Black, pictured, has joined the staff at Freeman Health System in Joplin. He specializes in palliative medicine whose goal is to prevent or treat the symptoms and side effects of a disease from the first day a serious illness is diagnosed.
Unlike hospice care, which provides pain management and support services for patients at the end of life, palliative care is a medical specialty that offers pain and symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support for those who face chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illness. Palliative care specialists work with patients, the patient’s family and care team to help improve quality of life during and after treatment.
"It’s a rewarding field in healthcare. My goal is not to cure, but to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family during treatment,” said Dr. Black. “Because I’m making sure their medical, emotional and spiritual needs are met, I have the opportunity to connect with patients and their families on a different level.”
Black, who grew up in Joplin, received his medical degree from University of Missouri School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO, and completed his internal medicine residency at Akron General Medical Center, Akron, Ohio. He completed his hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System, Reno, Nevada. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.