Dr. Joel Baker Selected to Lead Hospice Program

When Hospice of Central Iowa began their search for a caring and compassionate physician Medical Director, they knew that Dr. Joel Baker was the perfect candidate. After twelve very successful years as a partner in private practice, Dr. Baker’s reputation for delivering exceptional patient care has been well-known throughout southern Iowa. On August 1, 2008, Dr. Baker will begin a new phase in his medical career as he assumes full-time responsibilities as “Medical Director” for Hospice of Central Iowa.

His work will include coordinating the delivery of end-of-life care at multiple facilities throughout Southern Iowa. He will be responsible for ensuring that patients receive high-quality medical services when they and their family enter this special period of life. “I believe that attending to patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs in a holistic way helps to ease the transition between life and death for both them and their families.  I have had a passion for this type of care throughout my practice and this opportunity will allow me to help people going through this time on each and every day,” says Dr. Baker.

Recently, Dr. Baker was instrumental in the development of South Central Iowa Medical Clinic, resulting from the merger of Corydon Medical Clinic and Wayne Family Medical Center, where he was a practicing-partner. Dr. Baker has been an active community leader over the years serving as both the Wayne County Medical Examiner and the WCH Chief of Medical Staff.  “Dr. Baker has been an important member of the WCH Medical Staff for quite some time.  He has provided outstanding care to our patients and has displayed strong leadership to our staff.  While we are saddened by his departure, we are equally excited by the wonderful new opportunity lies before him. He has earned both our respect and our well-wishes,” says Brian Burnside, WCH’s CEO.

Born and raised in southern Iowa, Dr. Baker plans to continue to make his home in Wayne County and will remain in close contact with his colleagues and many friends in the area. “The relationships with the people whom I have had the opportunity to work with and the patients I have cared for during the past 12 years will always have a special place in my heart. Obviously this decision comes with mixed emotions and has not been an easy one.

The WCH Board and Administration have always been helpful and supportive. Their progressive thinking puts the care of patients first, and I know they will continue to do so.  The current expansion is just one example of this vision for the future.

The nursing and ancillary departments are second to none and certainly these friendships will be missed.  Their pride for patient satisfaction is second to none and I know that they will continue to provide excellent care.

The medical staff at WCH is also a unique group that I will greatly miss.  These friendships are life-long. I know they will forge ahead and continue to achieve the excellence in healthcare that this area has come to know and expect,” reflects Dr. Baker

Patients who have been under Dr. Baker’s care will be served by one of the other highly- qualified providers at the South Central Iowa Medical Clinic with no interruption to the service or care provided. Please feel free to call us at 641-872-2164 if you have any questions or concerns during this transition. (Press Release 5/30/08)