Providing pediatric and hospice care
Dr. Zetoune was born in Syria but left when he was 18. He traveled to Egypt to finish medical school and later moved to the US to complete a pediatric residency at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, which included rotations at Cohen Children's Medical Center.
There, the desire to work in palliative and end-of-life care began to burn.
"During my residency, and especially working with pediatric ICU doctors at Cohen Children's Medical Center, I came to realize the importance of palliative and end of life care," he said. "Death in a child is an interruption of life. It is never, and should never be considered a normal progression of life. It carries physical, psychosocial, existential suffering to a child, family and the care givers.
"While we do all what we can to save a life, science is still limited; a cure from a disease might not always be achieved."
Dr. Zetoune joined Northwell's Hospice Care Network in July 2016, bringing a unique and comprehensive approach. He often says "When cure is not an option you need a team who is can navigate this difficult road with the family, more work needs to be done."
To ease patient and family suffering, he forms a deep understanding of each patient and works to fulfill their needs.
"End of life care, represented in hospice, humanize our health care system," said Dr. Zetoune, who received the 2018 Northwell Health Physician of the Year President's Award. "Patients and families in suffering need a tremendous amount of support. We started to see more doctors who have a better understanding of the value of hospice. An appropriately early hospice referral means more time for patient, the family and the hospice team to work on the psychological, social and physical aspect of loss.
"Another thing I would like to see is residents participating in hospice, especially pediatric residents. Unfortunately, at one point, they might have to deal with the loss of a child."