Zail Berry Joins VNA

VNA is pleased to announce that Zail Berry, M.D., MPH, FACP has joined the agency in the role of Associate Medical Director, Hospice and Palliative Care Services. Working alongside Medical Director, Jaina Clough, M.D., Dr. Berry will oversee the delivery of clinical care to individuals facing life-limiting illness in the community and at the newly expanded McClure Miller VNA Respite House.

“The addition of Dr. Zail Berry to our hospice team is an immense benefit to our patients, our staff, and our community. The VNA is even better positioned to meet the growing need for hospice care in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties,” says Jim Budis, Vice President of Clinical Operations.

Dr. Berry is one of Vermont’s foremost experts in the practice of palliative medicine and end-of-life care. She came to the state in 1996 as an Attending Physician at the Aesculapius Medical Center, Fletcher Allen Health Care (now UVM Medical Center). She was the founding Medical Director of Fletcher Allen Health Care’s Palliative Care Program and the Co-Medical Director of Hospice of the Champlain Valley (now VNA Hospice and Palliative Care Services).

“The depth, breadth and leadership Zail Berry brings forth in Palliative Medicine would be difficult to match. Compassionate, high quality end-of-life care has been a focus of her career and she is a recognized leader in this area. We look forward to growing together as we increase the understanding and utilization of hospice in our community,” says Tara Graham, Executive Director, Hospice and Palliative Care Services.

For the past 13 years, Dr. Berry has been an Associate Clinical Professor at The Robert Larner, MD College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. In 2004 she opened a private practice, Palliative Medicine Consultation and Home Medical Services, serving seriously and terminally ill individuals in Chittenden County. She closed her private practice in 2014 to rejoin UVMMC, serving patients at Birchwood Terrace  as Medical Director and providing house calls in collaboration with UVMMC primary care physicians.

“Though I have continuously worked with VNA Hospice in the care of my own patients,” says Zail, “I am thrilled to once again be a formal member of the VNA Hospice Team. There is a real magic in the interdisciplinary process, with each individual contributing one’s own professional expertise and perspective, while simultaneously learning and growing from interactions with the other members of the team.”