News and Events: UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute

The UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute participates in many community, educational, and professional events, throughout the Pittsburgh area and around the country. We invite you to get in touch with us to learn more.


National Healthcare Decisions Day Tele Town Hall engages seniors

Staff from the Palliative and Supportive Institute teamed with UPMC's Donald D. Wolff, Jr. Center for Quality, Safety, and Innovation and Julian Gray Associates elder law attorneys in an informational tele town hall event on the topic of advance directives and advance care planning.

Susan Saxon Tele Town Hall

Fielding a steady stream of questions from caller participants were experts Robert M. Arnold, MD, Medical Director of the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute, and Julian Gray, CELA.

The half-hour event reached more than 5000 seniors, 74% of whom requested additional information on the topics discussed. Special thanks to Jennifer Pruskowski, PharmD, Megan King, RN, CHPN, and Susan Saxon, CRNP, MSN, FNP-BC for their behind-the-scenes support.

Aging Institute Research Day 2016

Lisa Hilal, CRNP, receives honorable mention at the Aging Institute's 2016 Research Day

Congratulations to Lisa Hilal, CRNP at UPMC Heritage Place, whose abstract on "Improving Diabetic Management in Residents Receiving Sliding Scale Insulin in Skilled Nursing Facilities, was recognized with an honorable mention at the Aging Institute's 2016 Research Day.​

2016 Alan Gleitsman Student Research Fund in Palliative Care

The Alan Gleitsman Student Research Fund in Palliative Care provides financial support of $3,000 for a medical student's summer learning in the Palliative Care Program. Studnes may, for example, work with the faculty of the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics on a research project, and/or see hospital patients wiht the Palliative Care Team in the hospital to gain a better understanding of the nature of palliative care, the therapies associate with it, and the benefits it can provide to patients and families.

For complete details and instructions download the Gleitsman Fund Announcement.

Deadline for application has been extended to March 1, 2016.

2016 Evelyn B. Amdur Social Work Fellowship in Palliative Care

The 2016 Amdur Fellowship in Palliative Care provides an intensive one month internship in palliative care social work under the guidance of one of the nation's leading academic palliative care programs. This fellowship is designed for social work students with prior hospital experience who would like to consider professional specialization in palliative care.

For complete details download the Amdur Fellowship Guidelines PDF.​

Application, statement of interest, and reference letter are due by April 1, 2016. For more information contact Colleen Kosky at


Physician Training on End-of-life Conversations

Dr. Winifred G. Teuteberg, Medical Director of Community Supportive Services, discusses ongoing physician training related to end-of-life conversations with patients in this piece from the Tribune Review. Read the article.

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine honors physician

Dr. Yael Schenker, assistant professor of medicine and director of palliative care research at the University of Pittsburgh, received the Early Career Investigator Award at the recent Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). Learn more here.

The Unreasonable Patient

Dr. Thurston

Dr. Andrew Thurston, a UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute physician at UPMC Mercy, recently had an opinion piece published in the Journal of American Medical Association. Read the reflection here​.

PSI In The News

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently featured an in-depth story on the nature and benefits of palliative care for seriously ill patients. Read the story and watch the accompanying video interview with Robert Arnold, MD, Medical Director of the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute.

What does Palliative care mean to you?

Palliative care means relief from pain and stress.

The Palliative and Supportive Team at UPMC St. Margaret posted the question "What does palliative care mean to you" in the first floor of the hospital and garnered some great responses from participants.

"This has spurred some great discussion amongst our staff and I am really proud of what the team has come up with," said Palliative Care Program Manager, Megan King.

Some of the responses included:

  • "Palliative care means relief from pain and stress"
  • "I'm not sure what I am facing – I need to talk"
  • "Management of a patient’s symptoms and special needs to prevent complications and promote a better sense of well-being."
  • "Palliative care is your best friend if you have a chronic illness. A best friend to help you, to treat you, to support you, to encourage you, and to nurture you. A best friend that everyone should have.

Robert M. Arnold, MD, Discusses Palliative Care and End of Life Issues on WESA Radio

On November 6, Dr. Robert M. Arnold, Medical Director of the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute discussed palliative care, end-of-life issues, and how better communication can help patients, families, and their caregivers that are facing a serious illness or end-of-life concerns. Listen to the 30 minute discussion.

PSI Nurse Practitioner at UPMC Northwest Develops Onsite Therapy Dog Program for Patients

Patricia Lamb-Knight, MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC and minature schnauzer, Bella.

Patricia Lamb-Knight, MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC is a palliative care nurse practitioner at UPMC Northwest. Recently, Patricia got the idea to develop an onsite therapy dog program at UPMC Northwest for patients and families, with her minature schnauzer, Bella, who is a registered therapy dog through Therapy Dogs, Incorporated. Patricia and Bella have been volunteering their time for a number of years at UPMC Norhwest and local nursing homes and hospice organizations.

Bella will join Patricia and the rest of the UPMC Northwest palliative care team including Kimberly Slater-Heil and Susan Stewart as they work  to take care of seriously ill patients and their families at UPMC Northwest.

"The response here, in the hospital, by patients and staff has been warm and welcoming. We travel and act as a team. It's our goal to try and bring as much comfort and joy to our patients as we possibly can during their illness." says Patricia.​​​​​​​

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