Media Advisory

Thursday, July 28, 2011

National Institute of Nursing Research convenes national summit on The Science of Compassion: Future Directions in End-of-Life and Palliative Care


The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), a component of the National Institutes of Health, and its partners will host The Science of Compassion: Future Directions in End-of-Life and Palliative Care. This trans-NIH summit aims to examine the current status of end-of-life and palliative care research and practice; propose strategies to address current barriers to care; and prioritize action items to stimulate research in this area. Participants include scientists, researchers, health care providers, educators, representatives from professional organizations and members of the public.

“This national summit is intended to address the scientific contributions of one of the most important areas of health care in our Nation today. This event serves as a significant milestone to not only reflect on past accomplishments, but also to envision and plan the next generation of end-of-life and palliative care," said NINR Director Patricia A. Grady, Ph.D., R.N.

The summit will begin with The Ethics of Science at the End-of-Life: A Town Hall Discussion, an evening where leading ethicists will engage with the public on critical issues facing end-of-life research and practice. Dr. Grady will offer opening remarks at the town hall, and Susan Dentzer, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, will moderate the event.

Town hall participants include:

  • Nancy Berlinger, Ph.D., deputy director and research scholar, The Hastings Center, Garrison, N.Y.
  • Joseph J. Fins, M.D., E. William Davis, M.D., Jr. Professor of Medical Ethics; chief, Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City
  • Marie T. Hilliard, Ph.D., R.N., director of bioethics and public policy, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Philadelphia
  • Karla F.C. Holloway, Ph.D., James B. Duke Professor of English and professor of law, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

A keynote presentation by Dr. Ira Byock, three plenary discussions, break-out sessions, an evening juried poster reception, and closing remarks by Dr. J. Randall Curtis will compose the remainder of the scientific program. Summit cosponsors include the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Institute on Aging, the NIH Clinical Center Department of Bioethics, the NIH Office of Rare Diseases Research, and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health. Portions of this event have been made possible by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, with generous support from Pfizer, Inc.


August 10-12, 2011

  • Wednesday, 7 p.m. — 9 p.m.: Town hall discussion
  • Thursday, 8 a.m. — 7 p.m.: Keynote address, plenary sessions, lunch presentation: "Parents & Clinicians as Partners in Research,” and evening poster reception
  • Friday, 8:30 a.m. — 2 p.m.: Plenary session and closing keynote remarks


Hyatt Regency Bethesda, One Bethesda Metro Center, Bethesda, Md. 20814


Patricia A. Grady, Ph.D., R.N., director, NINR


The program is open to the public and free of charge. Registration is required and seating is limited. For additional information and registration, visit NINR supports basic and clinical research that develops the knowledge to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, prevent disease and disability, manage and eliminate symptoms caused by illness, and enhance end-of-life and palliative care. For more information about NINR, visit the website at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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