Elite group of physicians and nurses demonstrate strong leadership potential and commitment to expanding palliative care.

PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept. 20, 2017) – The Cambia Health Foundation has announced the acceptance of 10 new physicians and nurses into the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program, the Foundation’s signature program to develop emerging palliative care leaders. With this new cohort, Cambia has now committed $7.2 million to cultivate 40 Sojourns Scholars from across the country who are working to advance palliative care.

The Sojourns Scholar program addresses a critical workforce development need and supports access to palliative care services. According to a 2016 report in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, “One-third of U.S. hospitals report no palliative care services of any kind, and access to palliative care in community settings (home, nursing home, assisted living) is limited for people who are not hospice-eligible. As a result, most people with serious illness are unlikely to receive the care they need throughout their course of illness.” Addressing these issues requires leadership, and by creating the Sojourns program, the Foundation has taken an active role in shaping the future.

The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program is an initiative designed to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. The new cohort was chosen following a rigorous selection process centered on their commitment to advancing the field of palliative care. Each scholar receives a two-year, $180,000 grant to support research, clinical, educational or policy projects. Scholars also receive one-to-one mentoring support and leadership training.

“The Cambia Health Foundation is focused on improving the consumer experience from birth through completion of life. Palliative care is inherently person-focused, and investing in future leaders ensures that people and families facing series illness are supported,” said Peggy Maguire, president and board chair, Cambia Health Foundation. “It is our hope that the seed that has been planted with these future leaders will inspire a workforce that delivers patient- and family-centered care across the entire nation.”

Listed below are the 2017 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program Grant Recipients

  • Valerie Cotter, Nurse Practitioner, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing: Advance care planning for primary care providers education program: Improving the quality of care for older adults with dementia
  • Andrew Epstein, Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Integrating values-based advance care planning in a cancer center’s palliative care initiative
  • Matthew Gonzales, Physician, Providence Institute for Human Caring: Charting a course to a person-centered heath record
  • Vanessa Grubbs, Physician, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF): Integrating advance care planning into usual dialysis practice
  • Stephanie Harman, Physician, Stanford University School of Medicine: Harnessing machine learning to improve palliative care access
  • Debra Lotstein, Physician, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles/Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California: Maximizing the use of home-based care for children with serious illness
  • Phillip Rodgers, Physician, University of Michigan: Palliative care in alternative payment models
  • Tatiana Sadak, Nurse Practitioner, University of Washington: Web-based dementia palliative care assessment and resource hub
  • Margaret (Gretchen) Schwarze, Physician, University of Wisconsin: National dissemination of a communication tool to increase access to palliative care for surgical patients
  • Jennifer Seaman, Nurse, University of Pittsburgh: Development and testing of a nurse-led intervention to ensure timely interdisciplinary family meetings in the ICU

To learn more about the individual scholars, please see the Sojourns Scholar page on the Cambia Health Foundation website.
Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program National Advisory Committee

  • Chair: Steve Pantilat, Director of Palliative Care Program, UCSF
  • Randy Curtis, Co-Director, University of Washington Palliative Care Center of Excellence
  • Patricia Davidson, Dean, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
  • Betty Ferrell, Director and Professor, City of Hope
  • Jean Kutner, Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Chief Medical Officer, University of Colorado Hospital

About Cambia Health Foundation

Based in Portland, Ore., Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate Foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience health care. Founded in 2007, Cambia Health Foundation awards grants in three program areas: Sojourns (Palliative Care workforce and leadership development, quality, access and awareness), Transforming Health Care and Children’s Behavioral Health. The Foundation has funded over $51 million in grants to advance patient- and family-centered care for all. Learn more at www.cambiahealthfoundation.org, and follow us on Twitter: @CambiaHealthFdn.