A young female medical student sits at a desk in a lecture hall.  She pauses from writing and turns to smile for the camera.

As noted in the mission, vision and core values statements, the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care (CPSC) has a mission of providing compassionate clinical care, demonstrating leadership in teaching health professionals and trainees, conducting collaborative research, and influencing health care delivery and public policy. The Research Scholars Program and the monthly Center Scholars Forum, directed by the CPSC, provide an integral component to accomplishing CPSC's mission. Through the Center Research Scholars Program and the Center Scholars Forum, the CPSC aims to cultivate and promote innovation and collaboration in the advancement of palliative and supportive care research across the University of Alabama at Birmingham and beyond.

Center Scholar appointments are made on the basis of quality and relevance to the Center of each prospective member’s research portfolio and are considered secondary appointments. Center Scholars are invited to participate in the Center’s activities, especially in developing innovative and creative approaches to palliative and supportive care research.

Center Scholars will hold one of the following ranks:

        -  Senior Scientist: equivalent to Professor
        -  Scientist: equivalent to Associate Professor
        -  Associate Scientist: equivalent to Assistant Professor, Instructor, or Adjunct faculty                       member
        -  Associate: non-faculty status

The Center for Palliative and Supportive Care continues as a Center of Expertise for the University and is very active as a clinical, education and research entity. Earlier this year, the Center awarded its sixth cycle of PREP Pilot Grant Awards supporting pilot projects that contribute to the evidence base of palliative and supportive care and enhance the prospects for external funding opportunities for UAB investigators. Each of the PREP awardees presented at our monthly Center Scholar forum. The forum was established to exchange research ideas and gather feedback regarding research and collaboration. This continued dedication to research and collaboration was recognized in the Fall of 2019 when the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care was accepted as a pilot University Wide Interdisciplinary Research Center (UWIRC) in the Fall of 2019.

Scholar Presentation Archive: 

  • 2021
    JAN 4 | CANCELLED 

    FEB 1, 21 | Rachel Wells, PhD, RN
    Homegrown: Developing a Program of Research Examining Critical Components of Early Palliative Care for Advanced Heart Failure

    MAR 1, 21 | Sylvia Huang, PhD, MA, MEd
    System-wide Depression Screening Implementation: Practice Transformation to Improve Access and Quality of Psychosocial Cancer Care

    APRIL 5 |  Emily Johnston, MD, MS
    Quality of End-of-Life Care for Children with Cancer

    MAY 3  |  Sara Lappan, PhD, LMFT
    Culturally-Based Values and Preferences for Clinician Care and Communication of Lesbian and Bisexual Women with Serious Illness and their Partners

    JUNE 7  | Caitlyin Clevenger, PhD and .Rhianon Reed, DrPH
    Culturally Based Values and Preferences for Clinician Care and Communication Transgender and Gender Diverse People with Serious Illness and their Partners & Assessing Provider, Patient, and Caregiver Preferences for Palliative and End-of-Life Care in Kidney Transplantation



  • 2020
    JAN 6 | Tom Buford, MD
    Optimizing Exercise to Prevent Age-Related Functional Decline

    FEB 3 | Cindy Cain, PhD
    Supporting or Undermining Personhood? How Staff Practices Support and Undermine Personhood for People with Dementia

    MAR 2 | Deb Ejem, PhD
    Optimizing Exercise to Prevent Age-Related Functional Decline

    APR 6 | Lyle Walton, MD and Emily Johnston, MD
    PREP Awardees Presenting on their Projects

    MAY 4 | Karina Halilova, MD and Gabrielle Rocque, MD
    PREP Awardees Presenting on their Projects

    JUN 1 | Sara Lappan, PhD and Rachel Wells, PhD
    PREP Awardees Presenting on their Projects

    SEP 14 | Grant Williams, MD
    Assessing the Older Adult in Oncology: Predicting Treatment Tolerability

    OCT 5 | Nicholas Hoppmann, MD
    The Integration of Palliative Care for Patients with End-Stage Liver Disease

    NOV 2 | Maria Pisu, MD
    Let's talk about costs: research to address the financial hardship of cancer care

    DEC 7 | James Dionne-Odom, PhD
    Progress and Experiences with the Project CASCADE Pilot Factorial Trial using MOST
  • 2019
    JAN 7 | Emily Johnston, MD
    End-of-Life Care for Children, Adolescents and Adults with Cancer: How Can We Do Better?

    FEB 4 | Heather Herrington, MD and Alethia Sellers, MD
    NIH Center of Excellence in Pain Education (COEPE)

    MAR 4 | AAHPM/HPNA Practice Talks
    • Macy Stockdill, Provider Perspectives on Palliative Care in End-Stage Liver Disease: A Qualitative Study
    • Anand Iyer, Palliative Care Needs and Perspectives on Early Palliative Care from Individuals with COPD and their Family Caregivers: A Mixed Methods Study
    • Deb Ejem, Exploring the Role of Religion and Spirituality in Provider-Patient Communication among African-Americans with Advanced Heart Failure and their Family Caregivers
    • Marie Bakitas, Integrating the ENABLE Early Palliative Care Approach in Community Cancer Centers: Results of an Implementation Trial

    APR 1 NB1052  | Alayne Markland, DO
    Research Opps for P&SC in VA & Birmingham GRECC

    MAY 6 NB | Ricky Shinall, M.D. (Vanderbilt University) 
    Specialist PC for Surgical Pts: Reflections from a Young Investigator

    JUNE 3 NB1071 | Nataliya Ivankova, PhD, MPH
    Approaching a Problem from a Mixed Methods Research Perspective

    JUL/AUG          SUMMER BREAK                                    ————

    SEPT 9 SON | Larry Hearld PhD 
    Dissemination & Implementation Science: A Primer and Possibilities for Palliative Care

    OCT 7 SON | Rodney Tucker M.D.
    Palliative Care & Hospice Education & Training Act (PCHETA) Update

    NOV 4 SON | Jessica Williams PhD
    Perceived Discrimination in Health Care & Hypertension Management among African Americans in the Southern U.S.

    DEC 2 | Ganisher K. Davlyatov, PhD
    Telerehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis



  • 2018
    JAN 8 | Anand Iyer, MD
    Project EPIC: Early Palliative & Supportive Care in COPD

    FEB 5 | Stephen Carter, MD
    Simulated Altitude as an Adjunct to Optimize Aerobic Exercise in Obese Breast Cancer Survivors with Limited Ambulatory Function: Pilot Randomized Trial

    MAR 5 | Marie Bakitas, DNSc, APRN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN and Sandhya Mudumbi, MD
    Palliative Care Interventions in End-Stage Liver Disease: A Rapid Review of Literature

    MAR 5 | Sylvia Chao-Hui Huang, PhD and Gabrielle Rocque, MD
    Association between Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms and Health Care Utilization in Geriatric Patients with Cancer: Findings from the Patient Care Connect Program

    MAR 5 | Yasemin Turkman, PhD and Gabrielle Rocque, MD
    Evaluating Disparities in Hospice Utilization for Cancer Patients Living in the Deep South

    APR 2 | Eric Wallace, MD
    UAB Telehealth Efforts Update

    MAY 7 | Deborah Ejem, PhD
    Preliminary Findings from the ENABLE: CHF Diversity Administrative Supplement

  • 2017
    MAR 6 | Nick Dionne-Odom, PhD, RN, ACHPN and Post-doctoral Fellow, School of Nursing
    A 4-survey of family caregivers of poor-prognosis cancer patients: directions for future analyses

    MAY 1 | Rachel D. Wells, MSN, RN, CNL
    What's in the Black Box?: Describing the focus of early outpatient Palliative Care Consultation Evaluations and Treatment Recommendations for Individuals with Advanced Heart Failure.

    SEPT 11 | Sylvia Huang, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics & Palliative Care
    Mental Health Diagnoses and Quality Proceses of Care at the End of Life: Findings from the BEACON Trial

    OCT 2 | Anand Iyer, MD, UAB Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine and Postdoctoral Fellow, Health Services, Outcomes, and Effectiveness Research Training Program
    Project EPIC: Early Palliative and Supportive Care in COPD

    NOV 6 | Noha Sharafeldin, DrPH, Postdoctoral Fellow Hematology/Oncology
    Intervention strategies to improve cognitive functioning in hematologic cancer survivors after hematopoetic transplantation

    DEC 4 | Rita Jablonski-Jaudon PhD, Associate Professor of Nursing
    Clinician and Consumer Perspectives Regarding Advance Care Planning (ACP) Best-Practice Conversation at Different Stages of Dementia
  • 2016
    FEB 1 | Alexander Lo, MD
    Determining the Association between Unmet Palliative Care Needs and Healthcare Utilization among Older Adults with Heart Failure

    MAR 7 | Sylvie Mrug, PhD
    Examining the Role of Spiritual Coping in Health and Well-Being of Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

    APR 4 | Jessie Merlin, MD
    Intervention for Chronic Pain in Individuals with HIV

    MAY 2 | Stephen Carter, PhD
    Simulated-Altitude as an Adjunct to Optimize Aerobic Exercise in Obese Breast Cancer Survivors with Limited Ambulatory Function: Pilot Randomized Trial”

    SEP 12 | Anand Iyer, MD
    Life-Space Mobility as a Measure of Social Limitation in COPD

    OCT 3 | Marie Bakitas, DNSc
    Describing and evaluating current practices of specialist and generalist palliative care support for patients with a Mechanical Circulatory Support Device (MCSD)

    DEC 5 | Zina Trost, PhD
    Fear, Injustice, and Virtual Reality: A Research Overview
  • 2015
    FEB 9 | Elizabeth Kvale, MD, and Jessie Merlin, MD, MBA
    Chronic Pain in Ambulatory Palliative Care

    MAR 10 | Judy Paice, PhD, RN, FAAN
    The War on Cancer Pain: New Battles

    APR 13 | Anna Arthur, PhD, MPH, RD
    Improving Dietary Patterns in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors to Optimize Disease Outcomes and Supportive Care: A Pilot Intervention Study

    MAY 11 | Nick Dionne-Odom, PhD
    Progress on 4-State Survey of Advanced Cancer Family Caregivers

    SEPT 21 | Matt Davis, M.D
    End of Life Care In Neurosurgical Patients: Implications For Policy And Research Opportunities

    OCT 12 | Sylvia Huang, Psychology Post Doc Fellow
    Promoting Advance Care Planning Through Community Based Participatory Research: Challenges and Opportunities In The Deep South

    NOV 16 | Jessie Merlin, M.D, MBA
    Development of a Behavioral Intervention for Chronic Pain in Individuals with HIV

    DEC 7 | Erin Currie, PhD, RN
    Parent Experiences Surrounding Infant Deaths: Taking the Next Steps
  • 2014
    JAN 27 | Jessica Merlin, MD, Assistant Professor with joint appointments in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care
    Development of a Behavioral Intervention for Chronic Pain in Individuals with HIV - feedback on a K23 proposal

    APR 14 | Brainstorming Session with the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care Center Scholars

    MAY 23 | Marie Bakitas, DNSc, NP-C, FAAN FAAN, the Marie L. O'Koren Endowed Chair and Professor at the UAB School of Nursing
    Immediate vs. Delayed Initiation of Concurrent Palliative Oncology Care: ENABLE III Randomized Controlled Trial Patient Outcomes

    MAY 23 | Nick Dionne-Odom, PhD
    Benefits of Immediate vs. Delayed Palliative Care to Informal Family Caregivers of Persons with Advanced Cancer: Outcomes from the ENABLE III Randomized Controlled Trial

    JUNE 19 | DeNay Porter Kirkpatrick, DNP, APN-BC, CRNP, Nurse Practitioner, in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care Medicine
    COPD/Asthma IPU & CMS Bundle Payment Pilot

    SEPT 10 | Elizabeth Kvale, MD, Associate Professor & Medical Director UAB Palliative & Supportive Care Outpatient Services
    Survivorship Care Transition Intervention

    OCT 10 | Peter S. Hendricks, PhD, Associate Professor Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior
    5HT2A Agonists (Classic Psychedelics) in the Treatment of End-of-Life Distress
  • 2013
    JAN 14 | Kerri Bevis MD, Assistant Professor Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
    Work in Progress (in palliative care in oncology)

    MAR 28 | Jessica S. Merlin, MD, MBA, PCOR K12 Scholar and Assistant Professor Division of Infectious Diseases
    HIV and Chronic Pain Research

    APR 15 | David H. James RN, DNP, CCRN, CCNS, UAB Center for Nursing Excellence
    Bioethical Considerations for Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) in the critically ill

    MAY 14 | Sridivya Parvataneni, MD, Research Assistant, UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging
    Discharge Hospice Referral and 30-Day All-Cause Readmission in Medicare Beneficiaries Hospitalized for Heart Failure

    JUNE 10 | René Jooste, M Pharm, CCRP, Clinical Trial Billing Officer, UAB Office of Sponsored Programs
    Comparing the Quality of end-of-life Cancer Care in the Medicare Population at Academic Medical Centers and Non-academic Medical Centers prior to and after the Enactment of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003

    SEPT 30 | J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, MA, MSN, RN, Instructor, School of Nursing; Palliative Care Nurse Interventionist, NPCRC, ENABLE CHF-PC; Project Coordinator, ACS Reducing Disparities in Palliative Care; Doctoral Candidate
    Preliminary Results: A Theoretical Model of the Psychological Processes of Surrogate Decision-Making at Adult End-of-Life in the ICU using Cognitive Task Analysis

    OCT 28 | Gabrielle Rocque, MD, Medical Director of the Patient Care Connect Program with the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Integrating Palliative Care and Oncology: The University of Wisconsin Inpatient Experience

    DEC 19 | Burel R. Goodin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychology and Anesthesiology
    The Role of Oxytocin in the Pain and Stress Responses of Older Adults
  • 2012
    NOV 13 | Amos Bailey, MD, Professor and Director of Palliative Care Services - Birmingham VA Medical Center and Kathryn Burgio, PhD, Professor, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care
    Hospice Emergency Kits in End-of-Life Care for Veterans in Home Settings

    DEC 10 | Mona Fouad, MD, Professor, Division Director Preventive Medicine. CanCORS is one of the largest longitudinal cancer outcome trials undertaken
    CanCORS Dataset

If you are interested in becoming a Center Scholar Member or would like more information about Center Research Scholars please contact:

Lyle Walton, M.D.
Email:  lswalton@uabmc.edu

Martha Hilley, MPA
Email:  marthahilley@uabmc.edu
Phone: (205) 975-2610