Dr. Orlanda Mackie, chair of hospice and palliative medicine for Cook County Health, is one of seven awardees of the 2021 National Compassionate Caregivers of the Year Award from the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a national nonprofit dedicated to putting compassion at the heart of health care.

The Award recognizes extraordinary health care professionals from across the country who display exceptional compassion in the care of their patients, colleagues and communities.

Dr. Mackie has been on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic to ensure patients can say goodbye to their families. Despite added pressure during this unprecedented time, Dr. Mackie remains a champion for all her patients. She takes the time to listen to patients and their families. She comes back after hours to talk to patients and get to know them. Dr. Mackie also makes sure patients have the chance to express what is important to them about their end-of-life care. She is dedicated to elevating the wishes of her most vulnerable patients, who may not have always had their voices heard in medical decisions.

“Dying with dignity can be challenging, particularly for poor and underserved patients who often face additional obstacles in receiving proper end-of-life care,” said Dr. Claudia Fegan, chief medical officer for Cook County Health. “Tirelessly working day and night to ensure every patient gets what they need, Dr. Mackie is a remarkable caregiver and fearless leader who touches the lives of not only the patients she encounters, but our staff. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Mackie has been a calm and steady presence for many patients as they near the end of life, providing compassionate care to Cook County Health’s patients.”

Dr. Mackie has devoted her career to providing compassionate and comprehensive care for Cook County Health patients facing end-of-life decisions. Dr. Mackie brings over two decades of expertise, and can regularly be found educating and mentoring the health system’s doctors, nurses and other staff on properly caring for patients receiving hospice and palliative care.

“Dr. Mackie embodies what the National Compassionate Caregivers of the Year Award is all about – she is fiercely dedicated to her patients, and approaches her work with a combination of calm strength and person-focused compassion,” said Dr. Beth Lown, chief medical officer for Schwartz Center.

Since 1999, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare has honored outstanding health care professionals who display extraordinary devotion and compassion in caring for patients and families.

“Thank you to The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare for this remarkable recognition,” said Dr. Mackie. “I am honored and grateful to my colleagues who nominated me. Working for one of the largest public health systems in the country has truly been an honor and being able to care for the patients I do has been a privilege.”

Dr. Mackie earned her medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine. She is double board certified in both family medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine.

Elizabeth Pedersen, Communications Manager