Educational Initiatives

Educational Initiatives

Hedy Wald Reflective Writing Workshop

September 20, 2012. Dr. Hedy Wald will use a combination of didactic and interactive learning to explore the concept of fostering reflective capacity through interactive reflective writing within health professions education. Frameworks for enhancing educational impact of reflective writing and assessing students’ reflection level within reflective writing pedagogy will be presented, applied to students’ narratives, and discussed. Guidance for effective facilitation of small group collaborative reflection (with narratives as springboard) will be provided. The role of reflection in promoting personal and professional development will be explored.

Hospice Foundation of America Site Coordinator

IPPCCI has coordinated end-of-life care resources for professionals in the local community by offering programs that include CE credit.  Programs offered have included Beyond Kubler-Ross:  New Perspectives on Death, Dying and Grief and End of Life Ethics.


ELNEC Train the Trainer Course (End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium)

In November 2011 IPPCCI offered nurses and nurse educators an opportunity for essential training in palliative care.  The participants were provided with the knowledge and resources to share this information with other nursing colleagues using the ELNEC-Core 8-Module Curriculum. Over 150 nurse/educators from 9 states attended this two day conference.

iCOPE - Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Oncology Palliative Education (September 2010 – August 2015)

In September 2010 the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute awarded $1.5 million to the University of Louisville to develop an interdisciplinary oncology palliative care education program. The team working on the program includes representatives from the schools of medicine, nursing and social work and from the clinical pastoral education programs of three Louisville hospitals.

The curriculum will be designed to demonstrate palliative care's core principles by integrating the technical, scientific and humanistic elements of holistic care for cancer patients. It will include experiences that promote collaborative learning and teamwork and that broaden interdisciplinary awareness, combine innovative and proven learning modes and technologies and integrate interdisciplinary teaching approaches in both learning and the practice of palliative care.  This grant was submitted and is managed by the IPPCCI staff

Link to poster [PDF]

Palliative Care Fellowship Training Program

Opening as the first program in the state in 2004, the Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program was accredited on the first national cycle of palliative medicine fellowship accreditation in 2008 and remains fully accredited today.  This fellowship curriculum has been used as a model for other programs, as well as an important educational base and environment for student and resident education.  Since inception the fellowship program has trained nine palliative care specialists, making up the vast majority of palliative care specialists in the state.  Our fellowship curriculum has been used as a model for other programs, as well as an important educational base and environment for student and resident education.

Palliative Medicine Fellowship

Integrated Didactic and Experiential Palliative Care Curriculum Project

The Interdisciplinary Program for Chronic Care and Illnesses successfully competed with 58 other schools for a grant from the Medical School of Wisconsin’s EPERC project.  With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation only six projects were funded for the sponsored educational innovation in palliative care grants (EPERC).  While many initiatives are coordinated over the four year medical school curriculum by EPERC, this program in particular made University of Louisville the first medical school in the nation with a required palliative care core rotation in the third year, including pediatrics.  The curricular design has served as a national model, requested by other schools modifying their curriculum, presented nationally, and produced at least two manuscripts.  IPPCCI has served as the coordinating program for this proposal and continues to coordinate its implementation and dissemination of findings.

Wit Education Program

A multiprofessional, multimodality (film, mixed small groups, and lecture) session for nursing, medical, and social work students, utilizing the feature film Wit, was designed, implemented, and evaluated at the University of Louisville. The sessions covered a core content of terminal illness, symptom management, professional roles, and health communication. Following evaluation of the first program involving 89 students, the format was modified by viewing the film together in the discussion groups, integrating the lecture content, and improving scheduling issues that limited acceptance. Evaluations received from 97 second session students demonstrated an increase in agreement that multiprofessional education enhanced learning (55% to 78%, p=0.003). Overall, 79% of students evaluated believed the multiprofessional sessions will directly improve their clinical practice.

Results for 3rd year students who completed the required palliative medicine clinical rotation academic year 2008-2009 indicate significant improvement in palliative care knowledge test scores and significantly higher levels of confidence and competence in palliative medicine related skills when compared to students from the academic year 2007-2008 who did not complete a palliative care rotation. Results have been presented at the Alliance for Academic Medicine Annual Meeting in 2008, AAMC: Southern Group on Educational Affairs Annual Meeting in 2009, and at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2010.

Summer Student Research Program

The Interdisciplinary Program for Palliative Care and Chronic Illnesses is dedicated to developing tomorrow’s investigators in palliative care. One of the ways this is done is through summer programs which have sponsored medical student research.  In these programs individual students learn methodologies and issues in researching advanced disease, are immersed in current clinical trials, and produce scientific posters that are subsequently presented.

Student Mentoring

Drs. Head and Pfeifer have served on doctoral dissertation committees to guide and evaluate individuals seeking PhD’s in palliative care related fields.