News and Events

Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence






Dr Caroline Hurd featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal's article

Dr. Caroline Hurd, Clinical Assistant Professor and Chair of the Education Operations of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence is featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal's article "40 Under 40: Here are a few young health care leaders to watch."  To read the full article, CLICK HERE

KUOW Features Series on Palliative Care

KUOW reporter Ruby de Luna has developed a series of reports focused on having difficult discussions with patients and the growth of palliative care.  To read more and listen to the stories,


Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence Welcomes Dr. Joan Teno

The Cambia PCCE is very excited to announce the recruitment of Dr. Joan Teno to the Cambia PCCE and the University of Washington School of Medicine. Joan M. Teno, M.D., M.S. is a Professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice and Associate Director of the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research at the Brown University School of Public Health and Brown Medical School. She is a health services researcher, former hospice medical director, and board-certified internist with added qualification in Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.  Dr. Teno has served on numerous advisory panels including the Institute of Medicine, World Health Organization and American Bar Association and as grant peer reviewer for the National Institutes of Health. She has been the recipient of funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as well as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


Dr. Teno's focus has been on measuring and evaluating interventions to improve the quality of medical care for seriously ill and dying patients. Dr. Teno led the effort in the design of the Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences for Outcomes and Risks of Treatments (SUPPORT) intervention analysis and has been the lead author for numerous important publications in palliative care in leading medical journals. Both as a researcher and clinician, Dr. Teno has devoted her career to understanding how to measure and improve the quality of end-of-life care for vulnerable populations.

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Teno to the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence and she will start with us this summer.  We are also very grateful for the support from the Cambia Health Foundation that made this recruitment possible.  More Information about some of Dr. Teno's research efforts can be viewed by visiting her websites at:










The Palliative Care Center of Excellence at the University of Washington was launched in 2012 with the goal of giving every patient with serious illness access to high-quality palliative care focused on relieving symptoms, maximizing quality of life and ensuring care that concentrates on patients’ goals. Interprofessional teams of nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and doctors must work together to meet the complex medical, emotional and spiritual needs of seriously ill patients and their loved ones, and these teams need support and resources. The goal of the newly renamed Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, directed by J. Randall Curtis, M.D., MPH, is to see that palliative care has an integral and prominent role in healthcare — regionally, nationally and internationally — for seriously ill patients and their families.


About Cambia Health Foundation


Based in Portland, Ore., Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate Foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience health care. Founded in 2007, Cambia Health Foundation awards grants in three program areas: Palliative Care, Transforming Health Care and Children’s Health. The Foundation has funded just over $29 million in grants to support these causes. Cambia Health Foundation’s investments in palliative care advance patient- and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering.
Learn more at



What is Palliative Care?


  • Palliative (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness — whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.
  • Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
  • Palliative care addresses a patient's physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information and choice.
  • There is a significant need to increase, enhance and support the palliative care workforce on a national level. Today, there is approximately one palliative care medical professional for every 1,200 people facing serious illness. And, as the baby boomer population ages, there will be a greatly increased need for palliative care both for patients and their families.



What Will the Cambia Palliative Care
Center of Excellence Do?


VIDEO: UW Medicine Palliative Care

Drs. Randy Curtis, Tony Back and Caroline Hurd describe palliative care and how it has transformed the lives of patients at UW Medicine Clinical Sites.


The mission of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence is to improve the palliative care received by patients with serious illness and their families and to provide support to clinicians caring for these patients. The center will help ensure that all patients and families are treated in a compassionate, respectful, individualized way by focusing on three interrelated areas:

  • Enhancing the palliative care programs at UW Medicine hospitals and providing tools and support to other institutions building palliative care programs;
  • Educating physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other clinicians, as well as students, in the art and science of providing thoughtful, expert palliative care; and
  • Conducting research and innovative pilot projects to improve our understanding of high-quality palliative care and how to deliver it to every patient with serious illness every time.


About the Cambia
Palliative Care Center of Excellence

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