VITAS Healthcare’s Candace Baker, RN, Receives 2015 Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse of the Year Award


MIAMI & PHILADELPHIA – March 2, 2015 – Candace Baker, RN, senior admissions nurse, has received the 2015 Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse of the Year Award by the National Board of Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses. Baker accepted the award and was honored at an event on February 26 at the 2015 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly in Philadelphia.

The annual award recognizes the work of an advanced certified hospice and palliative nurse who personifies excellence in advancing expert care in serious illness.

Baker, who has worked with VITAS since 1991, is noted by the patients and families she serves as well as her colleagues for her ethics, knowledge, commitment to excellence, and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure the highest quality of patient care.

“In the 24 years that Candace has worked with VITAS Healthcare, she has been the first exposure to hospice for thousands of patients and family members, and she has represented VITAS and all of hospice with the highest level of professionalism, knowledge, and compassion,” said Kevin Yarrow, CHPCA, Senior General Manager of VITAS Healthcare of Dallas. “Extremely knowledgeable and highly respected by her colleagues, she has had a significant positive impact on our patients and the general community as well as the medical community.”

Baker has been a nurse since 1975, when she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Texas Women’s University. She worked for several hospitals in Houston and Dallas before joining VITAS in 1991. In 1994, she became the VITAS Patient Care Liaison at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, one of the largest tertiary care teaching hospitals in the United States, drawing patients from the local community, across Texas, and across the country.

Robert L. Fine, M.D., Clinical Director of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care for Baylor Scott and White Health, said: “Every Baylor oncologist, critical care specialist, hospitalist, nurse, social worker, chaplain, etc., knows Ms. Baker as one of the most insightful and responsive hospice intake nurses they have ever met. Baylor owes much of the success of its award winning Supportive and Palliative medicine program to Ms. Baker’s contributions. The lives of innumerable patients and families have immeasurably benefitted by her clinical savvy, ethical integrity, and spiritual grace.” 


The National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses is the only organization that offers specialty certification for all levels of the hospice and palliative nursing care team, including administrators and perinatal loss care professionals. Over 18,000 health professionals hold NBCHPN credentials that establish professional commitment to safe, ethical, and evidence-based care. Preferred as a current measure of continuing competence in the dynamic and evolving health care professional role, NBCHPN certification is valid for four years and can be renewed. Together with the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation, NBCHPN works to advance expert care in serious illness.

About VITAS Healthcare

VITAS Healthcare, a pioneer and leader in the hospice movement since 1978, is the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care. With headquarters in Miami, VITAS (pronounced VEE-tahs) operates 49 hospice programs in 16 states and the District of Columbia, including: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. VITAS employs 11,608 professionals who care for terminally ill patients daily, primarily in the patients’ homes, but also in the company’s 34 inpatient hospice units as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living communities/residential care facilities for the elderly. At the conclusion of the fourth quarter of 2014, VITAS reported an average daily census of 14,783. VITAS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chemed Corporation (NYSE:CHE), which also operates Roto-Rooter, another wholly owned subsidiary.


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