Empowering Nursing Homes to Accomplish Nuanced   Communication Expertise and Goals of Care Discussions in TN Long Term Care Facilities” The PI for this 3-year CMS funded project is Dr. Sumi Misra, with Co-PI’s Drs. Habermann, Karlekar and Simmons.  This project involves eighteen (18) nursing homes in rural and distressed communities. Residents, family members, clinicians will learn effective communicate skills, and how to conduct conversations that will elicit the individual preferences of each resident. In addition, residents, family members and staff will be trained on advanced care planning and physician orders for life sustaining treatment (POLST). The project via the proposed interventions will directly impact the quality of life of residents, morale of the staff, and delivery of the right care at the right time for the right residents based on their preferences.



A Comparative Effectiveness of Early Integrated Telehealth versus In-Person Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer. Dr. Martin is the site director PI for this multicenter study. This study builds on initial work which showed significant benefit to patients with advanced NSCLC that received early in person palliative care (Temel et al 2010). 


National Cancer Institute K12 Grant

Dr. Rajiv Agarwal NCI K12 scholar at Vanderbilt aims to design palliative care interventions for patients who are participating in clinical trials and receiving investigational cancer treatment. He also plans to develop studies to improve communication, advance care planning, and symptom management for patients with gastrointestinal cancers. His 2018 ASCO Young Investigator Award grant funded a prospective study at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which he designed during his fellowship training. This trial examines the impact of proactive palliative care for patients initiating Phase I targeted and immune-based therapies across solid tumor malignancies.



The Surgery for Cancer with Option of Palliative Care Expert (SCOPE) Trial, led by faculty member Dr. Shinall, is an NIH funded study of the effect of specialist palliative care for patients having major surgery for cancer.  This randomized, controlled trial will test whether specialist palliative care improves the quality of life and survival for these patients.  The trial is currently recruiting patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is expected to reach full enrollment in 2021.