The National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research is thrilled to present these innovative clinician educators as our keynote speakers for the 2022 Symposium. Additional speakers will be announced in the weeks and months ahead.
Learn from these inspiring keynote speakers
Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN
Nurse educator, clinician, and innovator
Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, is the Founder and Director of the Watson Caring Science Institute, a nonprofit organization serving to advance the philosophies, theories, and practices of Human Caring. She is Distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita, at University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing Anschutz Medical Center, where she held the nation’s first endowed Chair in Caring Science for 16 years.
An innovator and pioneer in caring science, Dr. Watson is the author of Theory of Human Caring, a philosophy that identifies 10 factors designed to balance the cure orientation of medicine with nursing’s values, knowledge, and unique approach to caring-healing arts. She holds 15 honorary doctoral degrees and has received numerous national and international awards, including the Fetzer Institute Norman Cousins Award, the Fulbright Research Award in Sweden, and the Academy Integrative Medicine and Healing Award.
Deborah Grassman, NP
Clinician, author, and expert in caring for veterans nearing end of life
Deborah Grassman, NP, is a mental health nurse practitioner and a former Director of Hospice for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. During her 30-year career with that agency she cared for more than 10,000 veterans nearing and/or at the end of life.
Her expertise in identifying the unique needs of dying veterans was the basis for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) We Honor Veterans program. Grassman is the author of two books, “Peace at Last” and “The Hero Within”; is a contributing author to four textbooks; and has written 25 published articles about the issues facing veterans at the end of life.
Jeri Miller, PhD, MS
Chief of the Office of End-of-Life Research and Palliative Care Research, NINR
Jeri L. Miller, PhD, MS, MSc, is the Chief of the Office of End-of-Life and Palliative Care Research (OEPCR) at the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She serves on a variety of NIH and national committees with an emphasis on caring for people facing the hardships that accompany advanced illness.
Dr. Miller is an international speaker and author who has received numerous awards and honors for her research at NIH and leadership at NINR, including the National Institute of Nursing Research’s Team Award, and the Presidential Citation from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2018.
Joan Fisher, MD, PhD, FAAP
Clinician-educator in palliative medicine and pediatric hematology-oncology
Joan M. Fisher, M.D, PhD, FAAP, is an inspiring and recognized clinician-educator who has dedicated her career to helping improve care for pediatric patients with serious illnesses and their families. She is board certified in both Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.
Dr. Fisher is published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy in Pediatrics, and works in higher education at Stanford University School of Medicine as the Director of Outreach in the Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant.
Ronit Elk, Ph.D.
Researcher, healthy equity advocate, author.
Ronit Elk, Ph.D., is a Professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Medicine, and serves as the Associate Director of the Southeast Institute for Innovation in Palliative and Supportive Care. Her NIH-funded research applies Community Based Participatory Research to partner with underserved populations, in particular rural African American communities, to determine effective culturally-based palliative care programs.
Dr. Elk is the author (with Dr. Monica Morrow) of "Breast Cancer for Dummies®." She co-edited (with Dr. Hope Landrine) Cancer Disparities: Causes and Evidence-Based Solutions," the first book on evidence-based solutions to cancer health care disparities. She is currently co-editing (with Dr. Uli Boehmer) "Cancer in the LGBT Community: From Prevention to Survivorship."