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2019 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program

The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program is an initiative designed to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. The program seeks to include physicians, nurses, social workers, physician assistants, chaplains, psychologists, pharmacists and other emerging health system leaders by investing in their professional development. Sojourns Scholars receive $180,000 in funding ($90,000/year over a two-year grant) to conduct an innovative and impactful project in the field of palliative care and execute a leadership development plan designed to support growth as a national leader in the field.

Goals of Program

  • Identify outstanding emerging leaders who are physicians, nurses, social workers, physician assistants, chaplains, psychologists, pharmacists and other emerging health system leaders committed to improving access to, knowledge about, and quality of palliative care.
  • Invest in leadership development, enabling Scholars to use their expertise and influence to create system and policy changes in palliative care locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Develop the professional visibility and advance the palliative care expertise of the Sojourns Scholars, enhancing their ability to advance the field.

Program Components

  • A two-year clinical, educational, policy, advocacy, or systems change project.
  • An individualized leadership development plan to catalyze and enhance the Sojourns Scholar’s emergence and effectiveness as a national leader.
  • Annual Sojourns Scholar Leadership Summit.
  • Mentorship from a member of the National Advisory Committee.
  • Participation as a member of the Sojourns Scholars community of peers.


  • The program will support up to twelve Sojourns Scholars in 2019.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a clear commitment to palliative care.
  • At least one local mentor to provide support for the applicant’s project and leadership development.
  • The applicant’s home institution will be required to submit a letter signed by a director (CEO, Administrator, Dean or Chair) confirming that at least 50% the applicant’s time will be dedicated to their grant project and leadership development as part of the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program.
  • Awardees should not be a current recipient of a career development award at the time of initial Sojourns Scholar Program funding (e.g. NIH K-Award, VA career award, National Palliative Care Research Center, or other funded career award).


  • Nurses: At least two years post-Masters preferred; Board certification by the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center preferred.
  • Physicians: At least two years out of training preferred; Board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine preferred.
  • Social Workers: For clinical social workers, licensure in state of practice and at least two years post-Masters (MSW) preferred.  Specialty certification in hospice or palliative care or post graduate training in oncology, palliative care or hospice preferred.  For academic social workers, PhD preferred.
  • PhysicianAssistants: Practicing clinical PA with at least two years of experience in hospice or palliative medicine (or critical care setting), in good standing with NCCPA.
  • Chaplains: Master’s degree in theology or related field; Board certification in chaplaincy (BCC) (board certification in Hospice and Palliative Care (BCC-HPCC) preferred); at least two years clinical experience in hospice and palliative care.
  • Psychologists: Licensed clinical psychologist with PhD. At least two years in delivery of psychological counseling services to palliative care populations.
  • Pharmacists: At least two years post-completion of PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy). One or more residency years training preferred (Completed post-graduate (PGY-2) residency in pain management and palliative care given top priority although limited programs exist).
  • Health Systems Professionals: Master’s degree in public health, business administration or related field preferred. Champion of palliative care integration across health care systems.

Required Dates

  • Applicant must be available to attend a one-hour in-person interview in Portland, Oregon that will be scheduled on September 18 or 19, 2019. Please consider travel to and from Portland when holding these dates on your calendar. Travel costs will be paid by Cambia Health Foundation.
  • All Sojourns Scholars must be available for the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Summit which will take place on February 11-13, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Travel costs for the Scholar will be paid by Cambia Health Foundation.

Application Process

The application is a two-step process beginning with a Letter of Intent (LOI), followed by a full proposal if invited by the Cambia Health Foundation to submit one.
Step 1: 
  • LOIs including required attachments are due by February 28, 2019 at 12 p.m. PST.
  • Download the 2019 RFP and LOI here.  
  • Access the grants portal to submit your LOI here. 

Step 2 (Only applies to applicants who receive an invitation to submit a Full Proposal): 
  • Applicants must be invited by the Cambia Health Foundation to submit a Full Proposal Grant Application. Access the grants portal to submit your Full Proposal Grant Application here. Download the Grant Application Checklist here.
  • The Full Proposal Grant Application and all required attachments will be due by June 17,  2019 at 4:00 p.m. PST. Full Proposals must be submitted through the grant application portal by the deadline. Paper applications will not be accepted.

National Advisory Committee

  • Chair - Steve Pantilat, MD, FAAHPM, SFHM, University of California at San Francisco
  • Betty Ferrell, PhD, M.A., FAAN., FPCN, City of Hope
  • Randy Curtis, MD, MPH, University of Washington’s Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence
  • Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, FAAN, Dean, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • Jean 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
  • Edo Banach, JD, President and CEO of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
  • Dr. Barbara Jones, Associate Dean for Health Affairs, University Distinguished Professor, and Co-Director of the Institute for Collaborative Health Research and Practice at the UT Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work.

Staff Contact Information

Sojourns Scholar Contact List

  • If you would like to be added to the contact list for the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program please fill out the form below.


The Sojourns Award honors exemplary leaders and organizations in the field of palliative care. Learn more.