Opening Keynote: Palliative Care Isn’t Just for End-of-Life
Jean Kutner MD Will Share Research to Inspire and Support Symposium Attendees
Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, University of Colorado School of Medicine Chief Medical Officer, University of Colorado Hospital will open the 2017 Academic Symposium for Palliative Care Education and Research, being conducted Sept. 28 -29 on the CSU San Marcos campus. Kutner was invited to begin the two days of exchange and collaboration by highlighting her research, her leadership in the NIH-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC), and her study of ways in which quality of life and care for those suffering from chronic or life-threatening illness can be improved.
Reducing Suffering, Improving Quality of Life
In an interview with Colorado Public Radio, this keynote speaker’s comments underscores the purpose of the Symposium: “Palliative care isn’t just for end of life,” said Kutner. “Palliative care focuses on enhancing the quality of life and reducing suffering for people with a serious illness, no matter what their prognosis is.” (To see an informative infographic on palliative care, click HERE.)
Teaching and Research Devoted to Patients and Family Caregivers
As one of the experts who authored “Dying in America,” the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report on improvements in end-of-life care needed in America, and as a practicing palliative care physician, Kutner devotes her teaching and practice to improving symptoms and the quality of life for patients with serious illness and their family caregivers. In her research, her goals are to enhance palliative care not only for patients but their family members as well. Kutner’s research investigates complex outcomes, such as caregiver burden, symptom distress, quality of life, depression and grief.
Shortage of Trained Professionals Remains
As noted in the IOM Dying in America report, a shortage of physicians and other medical professionals trained in palliative care is a problem that policies and education need to address. Kutner takes this challenge personally by extensively sharing her palliative care knowledge with colleagues at conferences like the Symposium; and as a mentor and instructor for graduate students, medical students, fellows, other faculty and fellow physicians. She stepped into an inaugural leadership role at the University of Colorado, becoming the first Chief Medical Officer of University of Colorado Hospital and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, UC School of Medicine in July 2014.
An Inspiration for Researchers
Kutner’s ongoing research projects include CaLL, Caregiver Life Line, a support for family caregivers of people with serious advanced illness, palliative care registry and quality benchmarking, and her work with the PCRC. Past projects include evaluation of rural hospice care provision, telephonic support for elderly caregivers, examining costs of palliative care, and more. As a researcher and grant recipient, Kutner will engage Symposium attendees with the substance of her work, but will be an inspiration for faculty from across the country attending this event.
Learn more at csupalliativecare.org/symposium