Cambia Health Foundation Announces 12 New Sojourns Scholars

The scholars represent the next generation of palliative care leaders and demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to whole-person care for people with serious illness

PORTLAND, Ore. (January 11, 2023) – The Cambia Health Foundation has announced the selection of 12 emerging palliative care leaders for its Sojourns® Scholar Leadership Program. In its ninth year, this program identifies, cultivates and advances the next generation of palliative care leaders.

“We are excited to support the development of these emerging palliative care leaders and enhance their expertise so that they can improve patient care and influence broader system change,” said Peggy Maguire, president and board chair of Cambia Health Foundation. “This year’s cohort is comprised of people with diverse interests and experiences who will learn from each other and work together to advance whole-person health for people with serious illness.”

The latest cohort was chosen following a rigorous selection process from a highly competitive pool of candidates that included all members of the interdisciplinary team and health systems professionals working to advance palliative care. Each Sojourns Scholar receives a two-year, $180,000 grant ($90,000/year over a two-year period) to conduct an innovative and impactful project tied to a leadership development plan that positions the scholar for growth as a national leader in the field of palliative care. Scholars also join a collaborative learning community where they receive one-to-one mentoring from an established palliative care leader and targeted training on key leadership skills.

Cambia Health Foundation recently opened the 2023 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program call for applications, which will be the tenth and final cohort within the original program commitment of investing in up to 12 scholars per year for 10 years.

The Cambia Health Foundation launched the Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program in 2014 with the goal of advancing capacity, leadership and innovation in the field of palliative care. The Foundation’s purposeful investment in palliative care leadership supports a larger vision of a transformed health care system that is more compassionate and person-focused. Since the program started, Cambia has awarded more than $17 million to 96 Scholars across the country, each focused on different areas of palliative care, but all committed to improving the experience of people facing serious illness and their caregivers.

Listed below are the 2022 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program grant recipients and their proposed projects:
  • Alyssa Aguirre, The University of Texas at Austin:
    • Health Care Transformation: Caregiver Support Project
  • Channing Tate, University of Colorado:
    • Underutilization of Hospice Care in Older Black Americans
  • Colleen McIlvennan, University of Colorado:
    • Pilot Testing ENABLE-LVAD: An Early Palliative Care Intervention for Family Caregivers of Patients with a Left Ventricular Assist Device
  • Cristal Brown, The University of Texas at Austin:
    • Building bridges in End-stage Liver Disease:  Development of an outpatient, clinic-based interdisciplinary team intervention to improve ACP engagement
  • Dio Kavalieratos, Emory University:
    • Developing Equitable End-of-Life Care to Address Social and Structural Determinants of Health among People with Heart Failure
  • Edward Peñate, Northwestern Memorial Hospital:
    • Screening for Religious/Spiritual Struggle by Palliative Care non-chaplain health care staff
  • Erin Collins, The Peaceful Presence Project:
    • Improving Rural Access to Palliative Care with Community Health Workers
  • Heather Bemis, Children's Hospital Los Angeles:
    • Bright IDEAS for Pediatric Palliative Care: A Problem Solving Skills Intervention to Empower Parent Resilience
  • Karen Moss, The Ohio State University:
    • Pair 2 Care: Peer Support for Caregivers of African Americans Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
  • Michelle Fortier, University of California Irvine:
    • A Community Engaged Approach to Develop a Culturally Appropriate Palliative Care Model for Spanish-speaking Families Impacted by Childhood Cancer
  • Nneka Ufere, Massachusetts General Hospital:
    • LiverPal: A Randomized Study of Inpatient Palliative Care for Patients with End-Stage Liver Disease
  • Sarah Byrne-Martelli, Massachusetts General Hospital:
    • Spiritual Care Integration in Inpatient Palliative Care Teams

The 2022 Scholars include emerging leaders in the following disciplines: chaplain, nurse, pharmacist, physician, psychologist, researcher and social worker. To learn more about the individual scholars, please visit the Sojourns Scholars Scholar page on the Cambia Health Foundation website.

About Cambia Health Foundation 
Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions. Founded in 2007, the foundation has funded over $110 million in grants to advance patient- and family-centered care for all. We purposefully invest in ideas that expand access to behavioral health care to advance equity through whole-person health.

For Cambia Health Foundation          
Wen Chiu                               
(206) 332-4959