Current Research & Publications

F. Amos Bailey, MD

Dr. Amos Bailey is an Internist and Medical Oncologist. In 1989, he began to work in Home Hospice in West Virginia and educated himself in Hospice and Palliative Care and then founded the Balm of Gilead Palliative Care Program at the Cooper Green Hospital. In 2001 he was recruited to establish the Safe Harbor Palliative Care Program at the Birmingham VAMC and the UAB Section for Palliative Care.  Since that time he has focused on education and training in hospice and palliative care for medical students, residents, fellows, and other clinical providers. Dr. Bailey is collaborating with Dr. Kathryn Burgio and the other members of the research team on several projects, including a recently completed, multi-site, HSR&D-funded Merit Review award entitled, "Intervention to Improve Care at Life's End in VA Medical Centers” BEACON.  Currently he is working on projects to use E-learning in the VA for just-in-time education in palliative care, implementation of BEACON intervention both within an outside the VA and research on use of Hospice Emergency Kits to facilitate honoring patient preference for care in the home at end-of-life.

Please click here for Dr. Bailey's publications.



Marie Bakitas, DNSc, APRN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN


Dr. Bakitas is an eminent and internationally recognized scholar whose content expertise focuses on the principles/concepts of hematology/oncology, bone marrow/stem cell transplantation, pain and symptom management, palliative care, and novel qualitative and mixed methods research.  Through her sustained scholarship, she has focused on conducting innovative pain and symptom management and palliative care interventions to improve the quality of life and care for people with serious, life-limiting illness and their families through improved management of distressing physical symptoms.  Dr. Bakitas has participated in 27 funded research grants and served as the principal investigator on 12. Currently, she has R01 funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) for an in-progress palliative care randomized clinical intervention trial and has additional funding for two companion grants.  The goal of her current project is to determine the effectiveness of a phone-based palliative care intervention for rural cancer patients and caregivers.

Dr. Bakitas is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, recognizing her ground-breaking research.  She has received prestigious awards from the Oncology Nursing Society, the Council on the Advancement of Nursing Science, and The Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), among many others.  Dr. Bakitas has served on more than ten national committees and advisory boards including two Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) and National Cancer Policy Forums and as an ad hoc member of NIH study review panels.  She currently serves on the National Advisory Board for the Mary Margaret Walther Program in Palliative Care Research and Education and the American Cancer Society Doctoral Scholarship. She has disseminated her work through the publication of 47 original papers, 3 books, and 17 clinical guidelines and monographs.  One of her published textbooks received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.  Her expertise in publishing has resulted in her appointment as an editor or associate editor of the journals of Oncology Nursing Forum, Quality of Life: A Nursing Challenge and the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.  She currently serves as a journal referee for Cancer, Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Palliative Medicine, and the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.


Elizabeth Kvale, MD

Dr. Kvale trained at the University of Missouri Department of Family and Community Medicine, and completed a fellowship in Palliative Medicine at UAB. She is interested in community-based palliative care, and is the recipient of a career development award from the American Cancer Society to examine the completion of active cancer treatment and the care transition to primary care. She is an investigator on a CMS Innovation Award to develop models of care to extend palliative care to underserved regions of the deep South through the training of non-licensed health care workers, and collaborates with the VA research team on Health Services Research projects including the BEACON study and the Hospice Emergency Kit Study.

Please follow this link for Dr. Kvale's publications.


Jessica S. Merlin, MD, MBA

Dr. Jessica Merlin is a physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and palliative care.  She is an investigator in the UAB Center for AIDS Research and Center for Palliative and Supportive Care.  Her primary area of interest is the intersection of HIV and palliative care, and specifically, HIV and chronic pain.  She has investigated the impact of chronic pain on outcomes in HIV-infected patients.  She has also conducted qualitative research to better identify HIV-infected patients with chronic pain and understand the chronic pain experience in this patient population. The long-term goal of her work is to ultimately behavioral interventions for chronic pain in patients with HIV.    She holds a K12 AHRQ Patient-Centered Outcomes Research career development award, and has also received funding through the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

See "HIV and Chronic Pain" presented by Dr. Merlin on June 13, 2013 at the HIV Grand Rounds at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Click here for selected publications.