Meet our Medical Directors
Dr. Sharon P. Beall, MD, HMDC
Dr. Beall serves as the Medical Director for Hands of Hope and provides physician support for the Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and as a Hospice Medical Director. She completed her medical education at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA and stayed there to complete her Internship and Residency in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia (CHOG). After serving an additional year as Chief Resident, she continued on faculty providing direct patient care in a private practice model and teaching residents and medical students. As medical technologies advanced and children survived with conditions which were once uniformly fatal, she saw the need arise for an additional level of support for patients (and their families and caregivers) who were living with chronic medical conditions which affected their day-to- day functioning. She began working to meet this need locally and established a pediatric inpatient hospice program at CHOG as well as a Pediatric Palliative Care Consultation service which offered inpatient, outpatient, and home Pediatric Palliative Care consultations in the Augusta area and for patients from across the state who received care there.
In addition, Dr. Beall also developed a home Pediatric Hospice program in conjunction with Affinis Hospice and served as Hospice Medical Director for their program. She was selected by Governor Nathan Deal to serve on the Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council. Dr. Beall
loves to teach others about her passion for this work and provides education about palliative care in her community, teaching hospital, and for local professional organizations. She loves visiting patients and families in their homes and is delighted to be a part of the excellent Hands of Hope team.
Dr. Brooke Johnston, Associate Medical Director
Dr. Brooke Johnston works with the statewide pediatric team, primarily caring for children and families in the Upstate. She is board certified in both Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Johnston graduated from Appalachian State University and completed medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine in 2006. She completed internship and residency at the University of Utah. During her time in Salt Lake City, she was introduced to the the specialty of pediatric palliative care by the team at Intermountain Healthcare Primary Children's Medical Center. Given the large region served by that hospital, she encountered many families dealing with serious illness. She was surprised by the numerous and varied challenges facing these families. Issues with money, time, child care, future planning, decision-making, understanding medical information (and many others) were quite common. In addition, complicated medical care and large care teams made communication difficult.
Dr. Johnston was impressed by the impact of caring, interdisciplinary professionals on the experiences of families, as well as the medical staff caring for these children. She served as a chief resident and worked with the palliative care service during that time. Fellowship training at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio, gave Dr.Johnston the opportunity to be part of a flagship program. After completing her training (and surviving Ohio winter), she made her way back south. Dr. Johnston helped to establish inpatient pediatric palliative care services at Greenville Health System Children's Hospital. Missing the chance to provide in-home and hospice care, she transitioned to work with the Hands of Hope team.
Her interests include communication training for medical providers and medical education for families and children.