Research Scholars Program

Update 3/15/2021
The National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) has announced a proposed in-person attendance for the 54th Annual Kathleen M. Foley Palliative Care Retreat, scheduled for October 2021 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The NPCRC will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, including recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and state/local governments. 

Due to limitations in allowed number of attendees with the public health guidelines this year, we will not be accepting new applications for returning or new HPNA scholars. The 2020 HPNA scholarsho who did have the opportunity to attend in 2020 will have the opportunity to attend in 2021. These scholars are expected to display a poster or make a brief presentation about their research at the retreat in a session designed for peer feedback. 

The HPNA Research Scholars Program supports funding for HPNA members to participate in the Annual Kathleen Foley Palliative Care Retreat and Research Symposium of the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC), co-sponsored by American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), American Cancer Society (ACS), and HPNA. The retreat is held in different locations each year. Participating in the retreat are the AAHPM Research Scholars, recipients of the National Palliative Care Research Center Pilot/Exploratory Grants and Career Development Awards, and recipients of the American Cancer Society Palliative Care Pilot/Exploratory Grant Awards.

The goal of the retreat is to advance the scientific endeavors of those who are or will become independent investigators actively involved in palliative care research through development of attendees’ individual works in progress and improvement of specific competencies and core methodologies essential to conducting palliative care research. The meeting format will include didactic lectures, small group discussion by topic area and/or discipline, mock study sections, poster presentations, and networking opportunities. 

Applying to be a Research Scholar

Previous recipients of the HPNA Scholar, AAHPM Scholars Program, or the NPCRC Pilot/Exploratory Grants and Career Development Awards and ACS Palliative Care Pilot/Exploratory Grant Awards are not eligible for funding as an HPNA Research Scholar.

The successful applicant will be:
  • nearly finished or have completed formal research training (e.g., research fellowship and/or doctoral degree);
  • a regular or student HPNA member for at least one calendar year;
  • currently conducting research in palliative care;
  • have an identified research mentor; and
  • have research papers on palliative care or end-of-life issues published or in press, preferably with at least one as first author.
The HPNA Research Scholars Program is intended for individuals who are or will soon be applying for federal awards (e.g., K award) or research funding awards (e.g., R01, R03, or R21). Doctoral students will be expected to have an approved dissertation proposal. Priority will be given to applicants who have a demonstrated commitment to an independent palliative care research career, in either a full or part-time academic appointment. In the event of multiple equally qualified applicants, priority will be given to HPNA members with a history of service to the organization.

Date and Location 

Kathleen Foley Palliative Care Retreat and Research Symposium
October 2021
Jackson Hole, Wyoming


No new applications or returning scholar applications are being accepted for 2021 due to space restrictions.  

HPNA Research Scholar Recipients

Returning scholars research listed under their first year as a scholar, as noted


Na-Ching Chi, PhD, RN "Multimorbidity in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Association with Pain Symptomology and Health Care Utilization in End-of-Life Care: A Big Data Approach"
Kathleen Doyon, PhD, M.Ed, RN "Communication Intervention to Help Nurses CLiCC with African American Patients and FAmily Caregivers by Integrating Spirituality and Culture into Palliative Care"
Rachel Wells, PhD, RN "Innovative Multiphase Optimization Strategy strategies to refine UPHOLDS (Utilizing Palliative Care for Heart Failure Optimized using Lay Navigators to Decrease Suffering) intervention components"


Daniel David PhD, RN "PC-CRAFT (Palliative Care: Connecting Residents of Assisted Living and Family through Telehealth): An intervention to support palliative care communication between assisted living residents, caregivers, and providers"
Tamryn Gray PhD, RN, CNL-BC "Instrument and intervention development to prepare and support family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer"
Shelli Feder PhD, FNP-BC, APRN, ACHPN "Identifying factors associated with high-quality end-of-life care among veterans with heart failure in the Veterans Health Administration"


Jackelyn Boyden, MS, MPH, RN. "Utilize choice-based methods and cognitive interviewing to develop a parent-reported outcomes instrument for home-based pediatric palliative care."
Kristin Corey, PhD, RN, AGPCNP-BC. "Expanding our understanding of the post-caregiving experiences of different profiles of former dementia caregivers."
Mary Issacson, PhD, RN, CHPN. "Working with Native American population to develop culturally relevant palliative and end-of-life care interventions."
Yasemin Turkmin, PhD, MPH, PMHNP. (2017-18)


Masako Mayahara, PhD, RN, FPCN. “Developing a digital pain diary application for hospice patients and their caregivers.”
Rafael Romo, PhD, RN, PHN. (2016-17)
Jiayun Xu, PhD, RN. “The needs of employed caregivers of advanced cancer patients.” 
Yasemin Turkmin, PhD, MPH, PMHNP. “Detecting the differences in PC use and outcomes between older AAs and Caucasians with high-risk cancers in the Southeast.” 


Joan G. Carpenter, MN, CRNP, NP-C, GNP-BC, ACHPN, PhD. (2015-16)  
Rafael Romo, PhD, RN, PHN. “Decision-making processes used among older adults with mild cognitive impairment.”
Esther R. Smith-Howell, PhD, RN. “End-of-life care disparities among African Americans and their families.” 


Joan G. Carpenter, MN, CRNP, NP-C, GNP-BC, ACHPN, PhD. “Continuity of palliative care after hospital discharge to nursing home.”
Christine Fortney, PhD, RN. “Infant symptoms in the NICU effect on parent stress, coping, and decision-making.”
Hyejin Kim, PhD-c, CRNP.  “Surrogate decision-makers’ experiences of POLST discussions in the nursing home.”  


Judith Adams, PhD, MSN, RN, FNP.  “Improving communication between ICU staff nurses and family members of seriously ill patients.”
Stewart Bond, PhD, RN, AOCN. “Delirium in advanced cancer patients, particularly those in the outpatient or home setting.”
J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, RN. (2013-14)   
Jennifer Seaman, BSN, RN. “Ways to integrate palliative care principles in critical care nursing practice.”


Caitlin Brennan, PhD, APRN. “Measuring patient acuity in the palliative care setting.”
J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, RN. “Surrogate decision-making at the end of life.”
Jay R. Horton, PhD, ACHPN, FNP-BC. (2012-13)


Joy Buck, PhD, RN. “Intersection of formal and informal care in complex chronic illness.”
Jay R. Horton, PhD, ACHPN, FNP-BC. “Association of treatment intensity and palliative care services.”
Susan Lysaght Hurley, PhD, GNP-BC, ACHPN. (2011-12)


Ab Brody, RN, PhD, GNP-BC. (2010-11)
Joy Goebel, PhD, RN. “Structures and processes of care, interdisciplinary collaboration.”
Susan Lysaght Hurley, PhD, GNP-BC, ACHPN. “The experience of older adults as they negotiate hospice care.”
Denice Sheehan, PhD, RN. “Adolescents with a parent near the end of life.”  


Ab Brody, RN, PhD, GNP-BC. “Geriatric palliative care in the community.”
Lisa C. Lindley, PhD, RN. “Pediatric hospice care.”
Polly Mazanec, PhD, ACNP-BC, AOCN, FPCN. “Supportive communication with long distance caregivers.”
Gail Towsley, PhD NHA. “End-of-life discussions with nursing home residents and their families.”