The Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies at the University of South Florida (USF) has received a $50,000 donation from Chapters Health System to support research and education at USF and within the community. The donation will help the center continue to offer pilot grant funding for graduate students and faculty who work with Chapters Health System as a community partner in their research.
With its multi-disciplinary focus, the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies facilitates collaboration among experts to generate cutting edge research addressing end-of-life care from a comprehensive perspective and then use that knowledge to educate health and human service professionals and influence public policy.
“Our approach to research is to work closely with community agencies – we conceptualize, conduct, and disseminate research findings as partners,” said Debra Dobbs, PhD, professor and academic director of the center. “Chapters Health System has been a strong supporter of our projects throughout the years. In addition to their willingness to serve as a research and internship site, we are so grateful for their financial support that will allow us to continue to offer funding to researchers investigating important issues in palliative and end of life care issues.”
Chapters Health System’s now retired Chief Medical Officer Ron Schonwetter, MD was the long-time community director of the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies and facilitated the donation by Andrew Molosky, president and CEO of Chapters Health System and current Chief Medical Officer Tara Friedman, MD, who also serves as the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies’ community director. Chapters Health System provides care for people in the community with or affected by advanced illnesses by offering a wide variety of compassionate healthcare choices, with services available in Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Martin, Monroe, Okeechobee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and St. Lucie counties.
The Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies was formally recognized by USF in 2000 and includes founding sponsors USF Health, Suncoast Hospice of Empath Health, and HPC Healthcare, Inc., along with sponsor partners Moffitt Cancer Center, Hope Healthcare, Inc., and Tidewell Hospice of Empath Health. Since 2000, the center has provided between $5,000 to $25,000 in grant funding for each pilot research project exploring end-of-life research questions and between $15,000 to $25,000 for each of its graduate assistantships.
“Many faculty affiliated with the center would credit their relationship with community and academic partners from the center for advancing their research in palliative and end-of-life care,” said Dobbs. “My own work in clinical trials in palliative care education for providers of persons with dementia in assisted living would not be possible without the collaborations with the hospice and academic partners brought together by the center.”
Most recently, the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies funded a project led by Janet Roman, DNP, an associate professor in the USF College of Nursing, that will investigate improving the well-being of frontline hospice healthcare practitioners and identifying burnout and will work with Empath Health employees to test a resilience intervention. In addition, the center awarded a 2023-2024 graduate student assistantship to Jessica Yauk, MGS, a doctoral student in the USF School of Aging Studies, to assist with center activities and pursue her dissertation research titled, “Black Caregivers’ Perspectives of Quality of End of Life Care.”
More information about the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of-Life Studies is available on its website.