Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

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About the Institute

The Institute's Focus

Professional Education

Because education in palliative care is often tangential to the curricula taught in the schools of medicine, nursing, and other health sciences, many medical professionals are unprepared to meet the needs of critically ill and dying patients. As a national leader in curriculum innovation in health care education for palliative care, the Institute to Enhance Palliative Care works with a variety of departments, schools, and centers at the University of Pittsburgh to improve the education of health care providers across disciplines and at all levels of training. The institute mentors and encourages students in nursing, medicine, social work, and pharmacy to participate in research and clinical and educational programs, as well as to choose careers in palliative care. We develop curricula and champion education of health professionals in the principles, practices, and ethics of palliative care, with the goal that tomorrow's physicians, nurses, social workers, and other professionals will be available to provide patients and families with compassionate and clinically excellent palliative care.

Research

Research is fundamental to eliminating unnecessary suffering during critical illness and at the end of life. The Institute to Enhance Palliative Care focuses the research capabilities of the University of Pittsburgh on palliative care with a particular emphasis on educational techniques, communication regarding end-of-life issues, clinical trials in palliative medicine, and family and caregiver needs. We conduct and mentor research, with the goal of developing new knowledge about the needs of people who are seriously ill or near the end of life and about the best ways to meet these needs.

Community Engagement and Education

The patients who receive palliative care and the families of these patients often say that they wish they had known about palliative care services sooner. This is why the institute works to raise awareness and mobilize broad public demand for improved services for the seriously ill and dying across the continuum of care in all communities. We collaborate with interested groups and also provide consultation and support to area health care institutions and providers, with the goal of increasing public and professional awareness of the need for palliative and hospice care and for continuous improvement.

The Institute's Work

  • We develop and champion education of health professionals in the principles, practices, and ethics of palliative care, so that tomorrow's physicians, nurses, social workers, and other professionals will be available to provide patients and families with superb palliative care.
  • We conduct and mentor research that develops new knowledge about the needs of people who are seriously ill or near the end of life and about the best ways to meet these needs.
  • We collaborate with interested groups to increase public awareness of the need for palliative and hospice care and for continuous improvement.
  • We provide consultation and support to area health care institutions and providers.

To see the online brochure about the Institute to Enhance Palliative Care, click here. You will need Acrobat Reader to view this brochure. To download Acrobat Reader, click here or visit www.adobe.com.