By Laura Lesley
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing Marie L. O’Koren Endowed Chair and Professor Marie Bakitas, DNSc, CRPN, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN, received the Debra Sivesind Career Award at the 21st annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Supportive Care, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, held October 13-14, 2017 at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
The Debra Sivesind Career Award recognizes outstanding contributions to palliative care. Bakitas, an internationally recognized palliative care scientist, delivered two keynote lectures at the conference “Early Oncology Palliative Care: Progress, Pitfalls, & Promise” and “Optimizing Palliative Care in the Community.” She has participated in or led more than 50 clinical trials in symptom management and early palliative care, and she has developed innovative methods, such as tele-health and tele-consultation, to reduce health disparities for cancer patients and family caregivers in the rural Deep South.
“Receiving the Debra Sivesind Career Award was an honor and personally meaningful, but I admit it was with mixed emotions for two reasons,” Bakitas said. “First, the work is not the result of one individual, but an entire team. And secondly, because it recognizes a ‘career,’ and I’ve still got much work to do to be sure there is equitable access to palliative care in the Southeast.”
In addition to her role at the UAB School of Nursing, Bakitas holds a secondary faculty appointment in the UAB School of Medicine and is Associate Director for the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care. Over the past three decades, she has spearheaded initiatives in symptom management and palliative care through quality improvement, research and policy change projects.
Bakitas is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and has received prestigious research and mentoring awards from the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Council on the Advancement of Nursing Science, and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, among many others. She has published more than 100 original data-based papers, book chapters and books.
Bakitas receives Debra Sivesind Career Award
Recognized for outstanding contributions to palliative care