First National Conference to Advance Academic Palliative Care Education and Research to be held September 30 at California State University San Marcos

3 min
April 27, 2016

IPC press releaseFirst National Conference to Advance Academic Palliative Care Education and Research to be held September 30 at California State University San Marcos

CSU Institute for Palliative Care Symposium – a collaboration with West Health Institute, brings together faculty from across the U.S.

SAN DIEGO, CA – April 26, 2016 – The California State University Institute for Palliative Care today announced an inaugural national conference for academic faculty interested in advancing palliative education and research with the goal of improving care and quality of life for the country’s most chronically ill patients. Undertaken with the support of the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, the two-day conference, Engaging the Next Generation: Academic Palliative Care Education and Research, will be held September 30 – October 1, 2016 and brings together faculty from across the U.S. in higher education and palliative care research on the campus of California State University San Marcos.

Palliative care provides those with a serious or chronic illness – from the time of diagnosis throughout the course of treatment – care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and managing suffering. It is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and other practitioners to address the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

There is a growing demand for community-based palliative care, yet the number of health professionals knowledgeable in this discipline is limited. “It is vital that tomorrow’s healthcare professionals understand palliative care,” according to CSU Institute for Palliative Care Executive Director, Helen B. McNeal. Current research demonstrates that palliative care reduces emergency room visits and hospital readmissions, and increases longevity, satisfaction and quality of life for patients and their families. “In order to achieve the transformation necessary for palliative care to become the standard of care nationally, we need higher education faculty and researchers to share innovations in teaching the field, and explore opportunities for research and collaboration.”

“With many seniors facing challenges associated with serious chronic illnesses, new models of palliative care have great potential to help those seniors maintain independence and improve their quality of life while preserving dignity,” says Zia Agha, MD, MS, executive vice president of medical research and informatics of the West Health Institute, a strategic alliance collaborator of the symposium. “This symposium offers the West Health Institute an opportunity to collaborate with leading experts, and explore how high-quality palliative care can become widely adopted wherever it’s best for the patient and their families.”

The symposium will feature nationally-recognized presenters including:

  • Amy Berman, Opening the conference will be Amy Berman, an advocate for better care of the seriously ill and Senior Program Officer with The John A. Hartford Foundation, an organization that has invested significantly in advancing awareness of and access to high quality palliative care.

David J. Casarett, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; Director of Hospice and Palliative Care at the University of Pennsylvania Health System; and author of Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana and Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead, will discuss how he and his team bring innovation and creativity into educating students about palliative care.

  • Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH, FACP, FAAHPM, the Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research and Aging in the Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco will highlight her work at the interface of palliative care and geriatrics that seeks to improve quality of life and patient outcomes for those experiencing complex serious illnesses.
  • Angelo E. Volandes, MD, practicing internal medicine physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine, faculty member at Harvard Medical School, and author of The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care will present his current research and publications on patients and families.

The two-day conference will be held on the campus of the California State University San Marcos in North San Diego County, California. Faculty members interested in or engaged in palliative care education and research are invited to submit proposals to present. To learn more or register for the conference, please visit or call the CSU Institute for Palliative Care at 760-750-4006.

Keyword: Palliative Care