UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


The Cambia Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program: Conversations with Emerging Leaders in Palliative Care

UMMS Affiliation

Division of Epidemiology of Vulnerable Populations and Chronic Diseases, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Palliative Care


BACKGROUND: There is a pressing workforce shortage and leadership scarcity in palliative care to adequately meet the demands of individuals with serious illness and their families. To address this gap, the Cambia Health Foundation launched its Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program in 2014, an initiative designed to identify, cultivate, and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. This report intends to summarize the second cohort of Sojourns Scholars' projects and their reflection on their leadership needs.

OBJECTIVE: This report summarizes the second cohort of sojourns scholars' project and their reflection on leadership needs.

METHODS: After providing a written reflection on their own projects, the second cohort participated in a group interview (fireside chat) to elicit their perspectives on barriers and facilitators in providing palliative care, issues facing leadership in palliative care in the United States, and lessons from personal and professional growth as leaders in palliative care. They analyzed the transcript of the group interview using qualitative content analysis methodology.

RESULTS: Three themes emerged from descriptions of the scholars' project experience: challenges in palliative care practice, leadership strategies in palliative care, and three lessons learned to be a leader were identified. Challenges included perceptions of palliative care, payment and policy, and workforce development. Educating and collaborating with other clinicians and influencing policy change are important strategies used to advance palliative care. Time management, leading team effort, and inspiring others are important skills that promote effectiveness as a leader.

DISCUSSION: Emerging leaders have a unique view of conceptualizing contemporary palliative care and shaping the future.

CONCLUSIONS: Providing comprehensive, coordinated care that is high quality, patient and family centered, and readily available depends on strong leadership in palliative care. The Cambia Scholars Program represents a unique opportunity.


challenges, emerging leaders, interview, leadership, lessons, palliative care

DOI of Published Version



J Palliat Med. 2017 May 19. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2017.0182. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of palliative medicine

PubMed ID