Integrating values-based advance care planning in a cancer center's palliative care initiative
The specific project proposed builds on my prior work on advance care planning to refine, deploy, and evaluate an efficient and scalable intervention that elicits patients' values and goals from the beginning of outpatient cancer care. This project will be accomplished over the 2-year Sojourns award as an independent but integral component of a larger institutional initiative that introduces palliative care - by primary oncology teams with support from palliative care specialists - from the time of diagnosis as a normative approach to our care of cancer patients.
“I have long been surrounded by nurturing teachers and role models who instilled in me the principles of humanism, compassion, and respect for others. They fostered my interest in helping people in vulnerable populations, and, ultimately, my drive to become a leader in caring for seriously ill cancer patients. The Jesuit principles of Loyola University Chicago resonated with me during medical school, where I was first exposed to palliative care on medical wards. From the start of my Internal Medicine residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, I was drawn to care for cancer patients and curious about both the biology and human impact of their disease. But no experience was as enlightening as an elective during my second residency year with the Palliative Care Consult Service. My attending was Dr. Diane Meier, from whom I learned much about human connection, inquiry into the emotions and goals of seriously ill patients and families, the language of communication, and professional perseverance. From then on, I knew that the path for my interest in helping others was a career at the intersection of oncology and palliative care.”