Palliative care scholarships awarded to San Diego County health professionals

The California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care recently awarded $25,000 in scholarships for palliative care education to 16 health professionals in San Diego County.

The annual Donald and Darlene Marcos Shiley Scholarships cover the full cost of tuition in any Institute course and are designed to expand and elevate the delivery of palliative care throughout the San Diego region. This year’s recipients were selected in honor of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in November.

“Each year we award these scholarships, funded through the generosity of Darlene Marcos Shiley, I get to feel like Santa Claus,” said the Institute’s Executive Director Jennifer Moore Ballentine. “Especially this year, with all its tragedies and challenges, to grant the wishes of so many applicants inspired to learn more about palliative care is a humbling honor and joy.”

“I’m excited to watch these students learn, grow, and share their skills in making lives better for patients with serious illness,” Ballentine said.

The 2020 scholarship recipients include RNs, nurse practitioners, physicians, social workers, and chaplains, working in settings including hospitals, hospices, and private practices. They are:

  • Ian M. DiOrio, MDiv, Shores Hospice
  • Mimi Kramer, RN, Advantage Hospice
  • Susan Andera, DPH, NP-C, RN, MN, CSU San Marcos School of Nursing
  • Sergio Robert Conti, MD, Hospice de la Frontera
  • Patricia Vlasin, RN, NP-C, PA, Patricia Vlasin, NP, Inc., A Nursing Corporation
  • Melinda Bataan, NP, ANCC, Kaiser Permanente
  • Atavia Jones, LCSW, Kaiser Zion Hospital San Diego Medical Center
  • Sandra Schimdt, BS, Mental Health Systems. Inc.
  • Basak Duru, RN, The Elizabeth Hospice
  • Ryan Krause, DO, Kaiser Permanente
  • Robyn Sarvis, RN, BSN, Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center
  • Gin Lao, MDiv, MBA, The Elizabeth Hospice
  • Melissa McClave, EOL Doula, Last Acts of Love
  • Sarah Renshaw, RN, BSN, The Elizabeth Hospice
  • Brenda Miller, PhD, RN, CSU San Marcos School of Nursing
  • Samantha Gambles Farr, NP, UC San Diego Health

Since 2012, the Institute’s online courses have been used by individuals and organizations across the country and around the world seeking expert, engaging instruction in palliative care. For more information, visit or call 760-750-4006.

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