News and Events

Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence






Dan Lam named one of Cambia Health Foundation’s 2015 Sojourn Scholars

Dr. Daniel Lam, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, has been chosen as one of Cambia Health Foundation’s 2015 Sojourn Scholars for his project entitled, “Integrate palliative care into routine care delivery across an entire dialysis provider system at Northwest Kidney Centers.”  Dr. Lam is the head of the palliative care service at Harborview Medical Center and will receive a two-year, $180,000 career development award to support his work.  This project will serve as a model for dialysis provider systems across the country.


The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program promotes palliative care leadership by funding research, clinical, educational or policy projects. In addition, national leaders will mentor the Sojourns Scholars, further broadening their learning and leadership development opportunities.


In palliative care, a team of doctors, nurses and others provides an extra layer of support for people with serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for the patient, family and/or caregiver. By advancing palliative care quality, awareness and workforce development, Cambia Health Foundation furthers the Cambia Cause: serving as a catalyst to transform health care to be more person-focused.


The 2015 class of Sojourns Scholars spans the nation, representing Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Washington, D.C. Their projects will build on the groundbreaking work of the 2014 inaugural class to improve care for patients of all ages facing a variety of serious illnesses.


”These grants are career-changing opportunities for exceptional physicians and nurses who are future leaders in palliative care,” said Dr. Anthony Back, co-director of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence at the University of Washington. “The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program is creating the next generation of leaders who will shape innovations, policies, and systems to improve the quality of care for individuals living with serious illness and their families.”


To learn more about the 2015 Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program Grant recipients, see Sojourns Scholars Profiles


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,









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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