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Blog: Stories and Insight

Third–Generation Physician Carries on Family Tradition of Care

To celebrate 40 years of caring for our community, we will be sharing stories from the past, and telling new stories that embrace the present and inspire the future. Samaritan is proud of its history and commitment to the community. We hope this look back — and look forward — inspires you to connect with your loved ones, reflect on your legacy, and know Samaritan is here for you.

This story is from Samaritan’s 2011 annual report and takes a look back at Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Goldfine.

Third–Generation Physician Carries on Family Tradition of Care


His grandfather was a family physician. His father was an OB-GYN. His older brother became a cardiologist, his younger an anesthesiologist. So, Dr. Stephen Goldfine, Samaritan’s Chief Medical Officer and the principal practitioner in Palliative Medical Partners, knew “pretty early on” that he, too, wanted a career in medicine.

Pictured above: Dr. Goldfine 2019; Dr. Goldfine speaking at the grand opening of The Samaritan Center at Mt. Holly in 2005

Early in his family medicine practice, Dr. Goldfine found himself caring for many elderly patients. “My focus, more and more, was not on curing chronic conditions, but rather working with my patients to maximize their ability to function comfortably.” This led him to pursue a specialization in Geriatrics and Board Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

2011 Video Asking Dr. Goldfine “What Phrase Do You Live By?”

Watch now to hear his answer.

When President/CEO Mary Ann Boccolini invited him to become Samaritan’s first Chief Medical Officer in 2002, he gladly accepted. Ten years later, the rewarding reality has surpassed his initial expectations. “I am helping to fulfill a critical medical need and assisting patients and families to overcome their anxieties at a difficult time.”

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Dr. Goldfine and Mary Ann BoccoliniHe is most gratified by the growth of Palliative Medical Partners. “We are relieving pain and managing symptoms upstream of hospice care and that has opened new opportunities for communication with families.”

Pictured in 2003: Dr. Stephen Goldfine and Mary Ann Boccolini

Samaritan’s palliative, hospice and primary care services, he feels, are helping to meet the biggest challenge in American medicine today: “To provide the right level of care at the right time. Our care should not be driven first by what technology exists, but rather by what the patient’s goals are.”

Dr. Goldfine lives by the slogan, “Be real. Be present.” He explains, “When I’m in the room, I’m truly there. I’m not rushing away. I’m not pulling punches. I’m gentle but honest. Every family deserves that respect.”

Each day, this third-generation physician embraces not only his patients, but their multi-generational families as well. “Those left behind deserve our support. They need to go on and see their loss, not as scary, but as a natural cycle of life.”

Dr. Goldfine also gains great satisfaction from training the next generation of medical residents from area hospitals and medical schools.

Dr. Goldfine feels honored to be carrying on his family’s tradition and hopes to leave a legacy of his own. “I hope people will say that I affected how care is delivered – that I have helped put the patient and family at the center of care, helped them feel comfortable and ensured that their voice has been heard. At the end of the day, that is the highest praise you can ask for.”