Susan DeSanto-Madeya, a Clinical Associate Professor at the Connell School of Nursing, was recently designated a 2016 Sojourns Scholar by the Cambia Health Foundation.
Professor DeSanto-Madeya is one of 10 physicians and nurses from around the United States selected for the Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program. The program strives to identify nurses and physicians who hope to improve the quality of palliative care–specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses–through intensive clinical research and the implementation of public policy initiatives at all levels of government.
Each scholar is awarded a two-year, $180,000 grant to conduct a palliative care clinical, research, education, or policy project under the supervision of a local mentor.
Recipients of the scholarship are also required to attend the annual Sojourns Scholar Leadership Conference, which is an opportunity for scholars to showcase their latest research and case-based peer-reviewed work to the larger scientific community.
Using the resources she received through the scholarship, DeSanto-Madeya plans to lead the creation of an Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Certificate Program at Boston College for graduate students studying nursing, social work, theology, and ministry.
The objective of Professor DeSanto-Madeya’s certificate program is to provide students with a holistic palliative care education drawn from the core principles of specialized medical care across a variety of disciplines.
The certificate program aims to study the administration of collaborative care and foster an appreciation for the versatile contributions of various nursing disciplines.
Furthermore, candidates in the certificate program are expected to learn how interdisciplinary skills can be used to provide relief for individuals living with fatal illnesses.
Reflecting on the goals of the Sojourns Scholar program, DeSanto-Madeya views the scholarship as an opportunity to bring leadership in nursing and palliative care into the national spotlight.
In a statement on her involvement with the Sojourns Scholar program, DeSanto-Madeya said, “I am committed to being an integral member of a national palliative care network that responds to the dramatic changes in our healthcare system and prepares the next generation of healthcare professionals.”