Ritchell R. Dignam, MD, is Chief Medical Officer for Provider Services at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). She also serves as Hospice Medical Director for VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care, the largest hospice provider in New York State, and as Program Director of VNSNY Hospice’s Physician Fellowship Training Program, the largest such program in the country.
Dr. Dignam has more than three decades of experience as a geriatrician and has held a number of different leadership positions in the fields of geriatric medicine and hospice and palliative care. Before joining VNSNY, Dr. Dignam was a Hospice Medical Director at VITAS Healthcare. Prior to that, she served as Medical Director at several New Jersey hospice agencies and other medical institutions. Board-certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine, Dr. Dignam also served as a geriatrician and an assistant professor at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging (formerly known as the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey), where she has practiced since 2000. The co-author of numerous research publications, she presents frequently on end-of-life area issues.
Dr. Dignam’s professional honors include being selected for a Geriatric Academic Career Award, a five-year grant sponsored by the Health Resources & Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Born in the Philippines, Dr. Dignam attended undergraduate and medical school at Far Eastern University in Manila, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from the School of Medical Technology, and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation. She did her transitional internship at Frankford Hospital in Philadelphia; her internal medicine residency training at Graduate Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital; and her geriatric fellowship training at Temple University Hospital. She also completed Harvard Medical School’s Palliative Care Education and Practice course for palliative care clinical and education leaders.