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Brian de Vries, Jean S. Kutner, and More to be Keynote Speakers at 2017 Symposium

National Conference Advances Academic Palliative Care Education and Research

April 5, 2017 (SAN DIEGO) – The California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care today announced its keynote speakers who will headline its second national conference for academic faculty interested in advancing palliative education and research. Innovate. Investigate. Educate: Advancing Academic Palliative Care Education and Research, will be held September 28 – 29, 2017 in North County San Diego. Drawing participants from across the US, this event fosters collaboration and innovation in teaching and research, with the goal of improving care and quality of life for the country’s serious and chronically ill patients.

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.

Higher Education National Symposium Builds Momentum

The symposium is building on the momentum of the first successful national conference in 2016, which drew 140+ educators and researchers from 29 institutions across the United States. “By gathering educators and researchers to advance palliative care, we are stimulating conversations and catalyzing new work to assure that tomorrow’s healthcare professionals embrace and practice the additional level of support for the chronically or seriously ill that is palliative care,” commented CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care Executive Director Helen McNeal.

Adam Shapiro, Ph.D., Director, University Relations and Research, CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care, Professor of Sociology, CSU San Marcos said, “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.”

The symposium will feature nationally-recognized presenters including:

  • Jean S. Kutner MD, MPH/MSPH, FAAHPM, FACP, Chief Medical Officer at the University of Colorado Hospital, and Professor of Medicine at the UC School of Medicine, who will deliver the opening keynote address. In her address Dr. Kutner will inspire colleagues to expand research on the effects of serious advanced illness on persons and their families.
  • Brian de Vries, Ph.D., Professor, Gerontology Program, San Francisco State University and Kimberly Acquaviva, Ph.D., MSW, CSE, Associate Professor at the George Washington University School of Nursing will co-present on palliative care and LGBTQ persons, countering stigma and nurturing resilience.
  • Marian Grant, DNP, Director of Policy and Professional Engagement at the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) in Washington DC, and Steven Pantilat, MD, author and Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco will engage the audience to share and discuss the policy climate for palliative care.
  • Jennifer Ballentine, MA, President of The Iris Project, an education, advocacy, and change design organization that improves advance care planning and delivery of care, and Chair of the Colorado Advance Directives Consortium (CADC), will focus on ethics and policy issues as they impact the academic environment.

Call for Proposals and Presenters – Open Until April 24th

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 Shiley Institute for Palliative Care at 760-750-7289.

About the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care

The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care is dedicated to increasing access to and awareness of palliative care by educating current and future professionals as well as community members. It offers palliative care-focused professional development and continuing education courses that are enhancing the skills of current and future healthcare professionals across the country and around the world.

With its Symposium, it is also fostering the expansion of palliative care research that can enhance care and engage future professionals. Housed within one of the largest university systems in the United States, the California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care helps organizations, professionals, and communities achieve the palliative care workforce needed to meet the growing needs of chronically or seriously ill people in all care settings.

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