We’re currently accepting applications to begin positions Spring/Summer 2020.

 

Program Director Information​

Dr. Jean Kutner​ directs this T32-supported research training program. Dr. Kutner is a Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of GIM, Geriatrics, and Health Care Policy and Research (HCPR) in the DOM and was, until July 1, 2014, Head of the Division of GIM. She has been​​ developing aging research at the University of Colorado since her research and geriatric fellowship training (1994-1997), joining the UCSOM faculty in 1997. Her career trajectory demonstrates a commitment to: 1) enhancing the evidence base to improve care for older adults with serious illness; 2) mentoring others interested in aging and palliative care research; and 3) developing research, clinical and educational programs and infrastructure aimed at improving care for older persons with serious illness. Dr. Kutner has established a highly successful aging-focused research program addressing fundamental issues in the care of persons with advanced illness, increasing capacity for aging-related research locally and nationally.

 

Co-Director Information​

Dr. Stacy Fischer Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of GIM, DOM, UCSOM. Dr. Fischer has been conducting palliative care research for over 15 years with a focus on underserved populations. Dr. Fischer has devoted her academic career to exploring the relationship between poverty and ethnicity and preferences and outcomes in the setting of serious advanced illness. She developed and tested a culturally tailored patient navigator intervention designed to improve palliative care outcomes for Latinos with cancer, conducting a multi-site study across the state of Colorado, representing urban, rural, and mountain communities. Currently, she is testing the intervention in patients with advanced non-cancer medical illness. She has received funding from the National Institute of Aging Research (NIA), American Cancer Society (ACS), and National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). She received pilot grant funding from the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC). She is serving as the site PI for a PCRC multi-site NINR-funded study (PI: Porter) of a cancer pain management intervention. She serves on the PCRC Investigator Meeting Task Force, has served as a reviewer for PCRC pilot grants and has been working on enhancing PCRC study site recruitment for the past year. Dr. Fischer is also a successful mentor, having mentored a Harold Amos Career Development Awardee. She is mentoring current T32 awardee Dr. Siler and Affiliated Faculty Drs. Kessler and Singh. As a co-director and program faculty, Dr. Fischer mentors T32 trainees interested in palliative care in underserved populations.

 

Dr. David Bekelman, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of GIM, DOM, UCSOM. Dr. Bekelman’s research aims to improve quality of life in adults with chronic and advanced illnesses. He is a practicing palliative care physician who is a board-certified internist and psychiatrist. His current research tests ways to integrate palliative and psychosocial care into the ongoing care of people with heart failure and lung diseases.  He has experience with behavioral/health services intervention trials, outcomes research, and qualitative and mixed methods. He has also investigated spirituality and informal caregiving in chronic illness. He is currently PI on a VA Merit Review award (IIR 14-346) to conduct a multisite clinical trial of early, primary palliative care in COPD and heart failure. He recently completed a R01-funded multisite trial of collaborative care in heart failure (R01-NR014322). Dr. Bekelman is primary mentor for one junior faculty cardiologist, one post-doctoral pulmonologist on the UCSOM pulmonary T32, and is a secondary mentor for T32 awardees Drs. Bickel, Portz, and Siler. He is highly regarded as a mentor, as evidenced by receipt of the UCSOM Dean’s Master’s Mentoring Award in 2017. As a co-director and program faculty, Dr. Bekelman mentors T32 trainees interested in testing palliative care interventions.​

 

Program Faculty:

NameDegree(s)Academic AffiliationResearch ExpertiseT32 Faculty CollaboratorsT32 awardees supporting
F. Amos Bailey
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/8154365
MDGIM, DOM, UCSOMPalliative care health services researchCandrian
Fink
Bickel
Portz
Reed
Elizabeth Bayliss
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/226825
MD, MSPHKaiser Institute for Health ResearchStudying and improving the delivery of patient-centered care for persons with multiple medical conditionsCandrian
Fairclough
Portz
David Bekelman
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/227008
MD, MPHGIM, DOM, UCSOM & VAImproving quality of life in adults with chronic and advanced illnessesFairclough
Fischer
Kutner
Kluger
Lum
Matlock
Meek
Bickel
Portz
Siler
Rebecca Boxer
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/4077771
MD, MSGeriatrics, DOM, UCSOM
Kaiser
Palliation of those with advanced cardiovascular diseaseBull
Fairclough
Lum
Meek
Portz
Plys
Sheana Bull
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224434
PhD, MPHCSPH, UC-AMCTesting and determining the efficacy of interventions for health promotion using mobile and social media technologiesBoxerPortz
Eric Campbell
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/19514733
PhDGIM, DOM, UCSOMSurvey research methodology; ethical frameworks in research  
Myles Cockburn
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/12650030
PhDCSPH, UC-AMCEpidemiology, cancer-related research  
Diane Fairclough
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224164
DrPHCSPH, UC-AMCAdvanced statistical methodsAllen
Bayliss
Bekelman
Boxer
Colborn
Kessler
Kluger
Kutner
Laudenslager
Matlock
Meek
 
Stacy Fischer
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224790
MDGIM, DOM, UCSOMPalliative care in underserved populationsBekelman
Fink
Kessler
Kutner
Lefkowits
Matlock
Singh
Siler
R. Mark Gritz
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/3353663
PhDHCPR, DOM, UCSOMEconomic analyses; Implementation costs and return on investment of interventionsKluger
Kutner
Schilling
 
Benzi Kluger
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224721
MDDept of Neurology, UCSOMNeuropalliative careBekelman
Fairclough
Kutner
Lum
 
Jean Kutner
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224405
MD, MSPHGIM, DOM, UCSOMPalliative care clinical studies, caregivers, medication deprescribingAllen
Bekelman
Candrian
Colborn
Fairclough
Fink
Fischer
Gritz
Kessler
Kluger
Laudenslager
Levy
Lum
Matlock
O’Bryant
Schilling
Wynia
Amoyal Pensak
Bickel
Plys
Portz
Reed
Sannes
Siler
Mark Laudenslager
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/230526
PhDDept of PsychiatryPsychosocial interventions for distressed caregiversFairclough
Kutner
Sannes
Amoyal Pensak
Cari Levy
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224675
MD, PhDGeriatrics, DOM, UCSOM & VAQuality of life at the end of life in nursing homes; quality of care in non-institutional care settingsAlbright
Kutner
Lum
Bickel
Kevin Masters
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/230471
PhDDept of Health Psychology, UCDReligiousness, spirituality, behavioral medicineAllen
Bekelman
Matlock
 
Dan Matlock
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224504
MD, MPHGeriatrics, DOM, UCSOMCommunication and decision making; implementation scienceAllen
Bekelman
Candrian
Fairclough
Fischer
Kutner
Lum
McIlvennan
Sannes
Wells Messersmith
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/225824
MDOncology, DOM, UCSOMPalliative care for older adults with gastrointestinal malignanciesKessler
O’Bryant
 
Lisa Schilling
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224574
MD, MPHGIM, DOM, UCSOMHealth services research, clinical and research informatics that support improvements in health outcomes and health care valueFairclough
Gritz
Kutner
Wynia
Reed
Matthew Wynia
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/5516545
MD, MPHGIM, DOM, UCSOMPatient and physician engagement, stakeholder-driven research, and medical ethicsGlover
Kutner
Schilling
 

 

Affiliated Faculty:

NameDegree(s)Academic AffiliationResearch ExpertiseT32 Faculty CollaboratorsT32 awardees supporting
Larry Allen
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/226050
MD, MHSCardiology, DOM, UCSOMAging, palliative care and cardiovascular diseaseBekelman
Colborn
Fairclough
Kutner
Lum
Matlock
Masters
McIlvennan
 
Joanna Arch
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/226493
PhDDepartment of Psychology, UC-BoulderAnxiety and depression among patients with metastatic cancerKutnerPlys
Ben Brewer
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/226749
PsyDHematology & Hematologic Malignancies, DOM, UCSOMPalliative interventions in stem cell transplant patients and their caregiversKolva
Sannes
Amoyal Pensak
Carey Candrian
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/231383
PhDGIM, DOM, UCSOMCommunication and decision making in the context of hospice and palliative careKutner
Lum
Matlock
 
Heather Coats
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/14824293
PhD, MSCON, UC-AMCPatient-centered communication interventions to optimize quality of life for minority patients with life limiting illness  
Kathryn Colborn
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/11763981
PhDCSPH, UC-AMCAdvanced statistical methodsAllen
Fairclough
Kutner
Lum
Reed
Regina Fink
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/227649
PhD, MSCON and GIM, DOM, UCSOM, UC-AMCInterventions to improve palliative care for underserved patients with serious illnessBailey
Fischer
Kutner
 
Elizabeth Kessler
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/2769063
MDOncology, DOM, UCSOMImpact of cancer treatment on function & how to best assess and intervene to support patients and caregiversFairclough
Fischer
Kutner
Laudenslager
Messersmith
O’Bryant
 
Elissa Kolva
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/11660606
PhDHematology & Hematologic Malignancies, DOM, UCSOMImproving assessment and treatment of psychological distress in patients with serious illnessBrewer 
Carolyn Lefkowits
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/11764061
MD, MSGynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UCSOMIntersection between surgical oncology and palliative careFischer 
Hillary Lum
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/229860
MD, PhDGeriatrics, DOM, UCSOM & VADeveloping and implementing novel advance care planning interventions for older adults into healthcare system and community-based settingsAllen
Bekelman
Boxer
Candrian
Colborn
Kutner
Levy
Matlock
 
Colleen McIlvennan
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/226349
PhD, DNP, MSCardiology, DOM, UCSOMPatients with end-stage heart failure who are considering a left ventricular assist device (LVAD)Allen
Matlock
 
Paula Meek
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/230260
PhD, MSCON, UC-AMCSymptom monitoring, appraisal, treatment, and managementBekelman
Boxer
Fairclough
 
Jenny Portz
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/12707707
PhDGIM, DOM, UC-SOMHeart failure, m-health, symptomsBoxer
Bekelman
 
Cindy O’Bryant
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/227521
PharmDSchool of Pharmacy, UC-AMCGeriatric oncologyKessler
Kutner
Messersmith
 
Tim Sannes
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/4077826
PhDHematology & Hematologic Malignancies, DOM, UCSOMStrategies to better support patients and their caregivers facing serious illnessBrewer
Laudenslager
Matlock
 
Sarguni Singh
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/11589600
MDHospital Medicine, DOM, UCSOMIdentifying cancer patients at highest risk for poor outcomes after discharge from the acute care setting to a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)Fischer 

 

Advisors:

NameDegree(s)Academic AffiliationResearch ExpertiseT32 Faculty CollaboratorsT32 awardees supporting
Jackie Glover
https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/225204
PhDDepartment of Pediatrics, UCSOMResponsible conduct of researchWynia 

 

 

CCTSIColorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
CONCollege of Nursing
CSPHColorado School of Public Health
DOMDepartment of Medicine
GIMGeneral Internal Medicine
PCRCPalliative Care Research Cooperative Group
UC-AMCUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
UCSOMUniversity of Colorado School of Medicine
VAVeterans Affairs Medical Center


T32 postdoctoral fellows:

Shauna Siler, PhD ​(2018-2020); The focus of Dr. Siler’s research is on integrating spiritual care into palliative care and implementation of community-based palliative care interventions for minority populations.​

Evan Plys, PhD​ (2018-2020); The focus of Dr. Plys’ research is on quality of life of older adults with physical and/or cognitive limitations due to serious illness in residential care settings.​

Kathleen Bickel, MD, MPhil, MS​, (2017-2019); Dr. Bickel is examining the hypothesis that patients with a diagnosis of PTSD are more likely to have increased acute health care utilization at the end-of-life, using a retrospective cohort study of chronically ill Veterans receiving VA health care benefits dying between 2010-2015. Using multivariate regression, Dr. Bickel will determine if PTSD is associated with increased end-of-life health care utilization. Dr. Bickel also hypothesizes that the effect of PTSD on end-of-life will vary depending on the primary chronic illness, it will be important to accurately characterize a veteran’s primary chronic illness at time of death. These findings will provide baseline information about the scope of this problem so that appropriate interventions can be developed.

​Sean M. Reed, PhD, APN, ACNS-BC, ACHPN,​ (2017-2019); The focus of Dr. Reed’s research is on the design and testing of economic and predictive models aimed to improve the delivery of care for the seriously ill.​

Jennifer Dickman Portz, PhD, MSW, (2016-2018); Dr. Portz’s mission is to advance social work research in geriatric palliative care by developing digital health interventions that can be used by older adults with advanced illnesses, their caregivers, and family to effectively improve patient-family centered outcomes. To achieve this goal, her current research is focused in three related areas: 1) identification of outcomes and needs important to patients with chronic disease and adva​nced illness 2) creation, study, and dissemination of digital health for older adult users, and 3) chronic disease self-management.​​

Nicole Amoyal Pensak, PhD (2015- 2016); Dr. Amoyal Pensak’s research focuses on improving distress management in patients and caregivers of adults with serious illnesses.​

Tim Sannes, PhD​ (2015- 2017); ​Dr. Sannes’ research aims to develop new and improved support mechanisms for patients and their family members facing serious illness. Specifically, he seeks to determine if stress marker data can be translated into meaningful strategies for patients and their caregivers and investigate if emerging biomarker data influences decision-making and behavior.​

 ​

Goals and Objectives Curriculum

All T32-funded trainees will be postdoctoral physician scientists or PhD scientists who have indicated substantial interests in learning translational or clinical research that is relevant to aging and palliative care.  Upon completion of the program, the trainees will be expected to have mastered basic technical aspects of research and to have progressed to an independent stage of developing their own ideas and projects.

Curriculum: Personalized Formal Research Training

Coursework: As a T32 trainee, you will be required to take the following courses or equivalent (or demonstrate equivalent prior training):

Course Name (all courses are semester long)Course numberCredits (total 15)
Applied Biostatistics I and IIBIOS 6601 and 66023 credits each
Design of Clinical Trials and ExperimentsCLSC 66483 credits
Introduction to Health Information TechnologyCLSC 68003 credits
Scientific Writing (grants & manuscripts)CLSC 7101 and 71021 credit each
Critical Appraisal Seminars in Clinical ScienceCLSC 62701 credit

 

As required by the NIH, you must complete 8 hours of training in the responsible conduct of research.  This requirement may be fulfilled by taking the CLSC courses 7150 (Ethics) and 7151 (Responsible Conduct of Human Research), the PHCL course 7605 (Ethics in Research) or the BIOS course 7605 (Ethics: Computational Bioscience Research) or via the seminar series offered by University of Colorado Clinical research Support Center http://www.ucdenver.edu/research/ORC/RI/Pages/rcrt.aspx .  This requirement must be completed in Year 1 of the award.​

Additional courses will be selected from the CLSC catalogue by the trainee and his or her mentor(s) to best fit the future research goals of the trainee.  The course work plan will be part of the required Career Development Plan (CDP).  T32 trainees will have the option of completing the requirements for award of a Master's degree in Clinical Investigation. 
 

Minimum Expectations for ALL T32 Trainees 

  • Attend and present in twice monthly research in progress sessions and actively participate in providing feedback to colleagues through peer mentorship.
  • Present research to a topic-relevant research seminar (as agreed to with mentors) at least once per year.
  • Develop andconduct at least 1 research project with their mentor(s), including agreed upon timelines and productivity benchmarks as part of a written Individual Career Development Plan.
  • Participate in weekly meetings with primary mentor (or senior/junior mentorship dyad) and with entire Mentorship Committee (at least twice yearly).
  • Attend other relevant conferences (e.g. University of Colorado Palliative Care Conference (UC-PCC), Geriatrics Grand Rounds).
  • Present at Palliative Care Journal Club as assigned and at the UC-PCC at least twice each year.
  • Completion of required courses and other didactic training as determined by the needs assessment delineated in the Individualized Career Development Plan.
  • Submission of required review materials to document progress (twice yearly).
  • Presentation of abstracts at relevant national professional meetings (submit 2 abstracts per award year).
  • Publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts (submit 3 manuscripts per award year).
  • Application for pilot grant funding (internal or external) during year 1.
  • Submission of an individual research career development award application prior to completion of the T32 training period.
  • Maintain contact with the T32 following training for collection of data on presentations, publications, grants, degrees and academic positions.​

 

Application Process 

Please provide the following application components​​:

Application form​​ (PDF - requires Acrobat Reader)

Letter of Interest

NIH format Biosketch with personal statement (CV or resume accepted)

3 Letters of recommendation

3-page Goals Statement

3-page Project Description

 Please refer to the flier​​​ for more information.

 

Send materials to:

Agata Hardin
General Internal Medicine
Department of Medicine Academic Office 1, room 8411
12631 E 17th Ave, Mail Stop B180
Aurora, CO  80045
Phone: (303) 724-2261
Fax: (303) 724-2270
agata.hardin@ucdenver.edu