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This year's AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly from March 9 to 12 brought nearly 3000 hospice and palliative professionals to Chicago, Illinois, to share research, clinical best practices, and practice-related guidance to advance the specialty and improve patient care. We thank all of those who attended or sponsored the event this year, and we look forward to seeing you again at next year's event, from February 22 to 28, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.



The following Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) awards were presented during the 2016 AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly in Chicago, Illinois.


HPNA Vanguard Award

This award recognizes a nursing leader who has uniquely led the way in palliative nursing. For her outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to improving end-of-life care, health policy, and health profession education, this year's recipient is June Lunney, PhD, RN.


As the extramural program director at the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1991 until 1999, Dr Lunney participated in the creation of federal support for research on end-of-life issues. She organized the first NIH workshop on end-of-life care in 1997 and founded the Trans-NIH Palliative Care Group. She later worked at the Center for End-of-Life Care at RAND, where she was a major contributor to a study on the costs and use of care. She was the lead author on the 2003 Institute of Medicine's report Describing Death in America: What We Need to Know. Dr Lunney served as the associate dean for research at West Virginia University from 2003 to 2008, and she also served as HPNA's first director of research from 2010 until 2015.


Dr Lunney has advanced palliative care through her role on multiple national committees and task forces. She chaired the 2004 NIH State of the Science End-of-Life Care Conference planning committee, served on the technical advisory group for the Assistant Secretary of Health's project to improve end-of-life care in Medicare, and cochaired the National Quality Forum's steering committee on palliative and end-of-life care.


Dr Lunney received funding from NIH to study trajectories of dying, and she published a seminal paper in 2003 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which provided empirical support for different patterns of functional decline at the end of life. Her current research links decision making, physical and cognitive function, symptom burden, and health care utilization in advanced old age.


HPNA Distinguished Career Achievement Award

This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the role of a palliative or hospice nurse. The 2016 winner is Rose Virani, MHA, RN, OCN, FPCN.


Ms Virani is currently a senior research specialist in the Nursing Research and Education division at City of Hope in Duarte, California. She has worked in various clinical and administrative areas in oncology nursing for 40 years.


Ms Virani has served as project director on several national nursing education projects on end of life. She is the project director of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) and has been since the program's inception in 2000. She is responsible for all ELNEC curricula, including Core, International, Pediatric Palliative Care, Critical Care, Geriatric, and APRN. She was a project director for the NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded "Integrating Palliative Oncology Care into Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Education and Clinical Practice," the Project on Death in America funded "HOPE: Home Care Outreach for Palliative Care Education," the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported "Strengthening Nursing Education in End of Life Care," and the Archstone Foundation funded "Improving the Quality of Spiritual Care as a Dimension of Palliative Care."


Ms Virani was inducted as an HPNA fellow in 2009 and is a Florence Wald Fellow and has been a reviewer for the Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant Core Curriculum since 2002. She received the California "NurseWeek" Nursing Excellence Award for teaching in 2003, was the recipient in 2006 of both the Excellence in Supportive Care and the Mary Nowotny Excellence in Cancer Nursing Education awards from the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) in 2006, and later received the ONS Pearl Moore Making a Difference Award.


HPNA Distinguished Nursing Practice Award

This award, chosen by the HPNA Board of Directors, recognizes an individual who exemplifies the role of a palliative or hospice nurse. Maureen Lynch, MS, ANP-BC, AOCN, ACHPN, FPCN, is the winner of this year's award.


Ms Lynch has an extensive clinical background in oncology and palliative nursing, has written numerous articles, and has presented both nationally and locally. She initiated the Pain and Symptom Clinic, which preceded the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) Palliative Care Service in Boston, Massachusetts. For the last 16 years, she has worked in the outpatient palliative care program at DFCI in Boston. She developed the Palliative Nursing Fellowship at DFCI/Brigham and Women's Health Cancer Center, serves on the national faculty for ELNEC, and is codirector of the Art & Science of Palliative Nursing course at Harvard Medical School.


Ms Lynch has contributed to the development of the inpatient consult service, the palliative care unit, and, more extensively, the outpatient oncology palliative care clinic. Recent projects have included coeditor and author for the HPNA Core Curriculum for Advanced Practice Hospice and Palliative Registered Nurse, faculty for ONS regional pain and education projects, and development of a communication educational module for oncology nurses.


Ms Lynch is a former member of the HPNA Board of Directors. She served on the APN Mentoring Program Committee in 2009, the Board Leadership and Development Committee in 2009 and 2010, and the Palliative Nursing Leadership Institute Task Force in 2012. She was a member of the national faculty for the HPNA ELNEC Core course from 2008 to 2015 and is on the national facility since 2014 for the HPNA Advance Practice Certification Review Course.


HPNA Presidential Citation

This award recognizes an individual who supports our mission through a demonstrated positive impact on the hospice and palliative nursing care field through public policy and/or advocacy. For 2016, Sylvia M. Burwell, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, is the winner of the award.


Ms Burwell was sworn in as the 22nd Secretary of Health and Human Services in June 2014 after experience with large organizations in both the public and private sectors, and she oversees more than 77 000 employees. She has called for the department to operate under 3 guiding tenets: to deliver results on a wide range of complex issues, to strengthen the relationships that drive progress, and to build strong teams with the talent and focus needed to deliver impact for the American people.


Most recently, Secretary Burwell served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, where she worked closely with Congress to help return to a more orderly budget and appropriations process. Prior to serving in the Administration, Secretary Burwell served as president of the Walmart Foundation in Bentonville, Arkansas, where, during her tenure, the Foundation surpassed $1 billion in total giving. She was president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, where she spent 10 years, and served as that Foundation's first chief operating officer.


During the Clinton Administration, Secretary Burwell served as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to the President, chief of staff to the secretary of the Treasury, and staff director of the National Economic Council. She has served on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, MetLife, and the University of Washington Medical Center, among other organizations.


HPNA Distinguished Researcher Award

This award recognizes a nurse who demonstrates longevity and consistency in hospice and palliative nursing research presentations and publications. This year, Marie Bakitas, DNSc, CRNP, AOCH, ACHPN, FAAN, has been selected the winner.


Dr Bakitas is an internationally recognized expert in palliative care, with a focus on reducing suffering and enhancing quality of life for persons with advanced illness and family caregivers, especially in rural areas. Her early telehealth palliative care model ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) has led to practice and policy changes.


She has participated in 27 funded research grants, has served as principal investigator on 12 grants, and currently has R01 funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research. She has received awards from the ONS, the Council on the Advancement of Nursing Science, and The Cancer and Leukemia Group B, among others, and has served on more than 10 national committees and advisory boards.


Dr Bakitas won a 2015 AAHPM and HPNA Annual Assembly Outstanding Research Abstract Award and the 2003 HPNA Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN) of the Year Award. She served on the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing editorial board, was an HPNA research member for the Measuring What Matters project, and is an HPNA Annual Assembly Abstract Reviewer.


Before her current position at the University of Alabama Birmingham, she served as an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Section of Palliative Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and in The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She also served as a visiting scholar at Boston College School of Nursing and as a clinical professor at Yale University School of Nursing.



Your e-subscription to the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing is included with your membership in HPNA. Membership also includes free access to more than 75 online courses, discounted fees for educational products, HPCC exams, and reduced registration for the Annual Assembly and the Clinical Practice Forum. HPNA offers many opportunities to network with your colleagues, including chapters, Special Interest Groups, and interactive online tools. Take a fresh look at and pass the word. And don't forget to tell your nursing and physician colleagues that a subscription to the Journal of Palliative Medicine (JPM) is also included.



HPNA and the ELNEC have once again teamed up for a series of "Train-the-Trainer" educational events for 2016. There will be 3 "core" ELNEC courses and 1 "pediatric" ELNEC course offered throughout the year. The dates for the courses are as follows:


* May 24 to 25, Scottsdale, Arizona (Core Course)


* July 26 to 27, Charleston, South Carolina (Core and Pediatric Palliative Care Courses)


* October 18 to 19, Orlando, Florida (Core Course)



For more information and how to register, visit our Web site at, then "education" and "ELNEC Train-the-Trainer" courses.



While the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC) 2016 testing window for March is currently running through the end of the month, we do have 3 other testing windows in June, September, and December. Applications for the June testing window are now being accepted through May 15. The testing schedule with application deadlines and instructions for all months are posted in each candidate handbook, which is available on our Web site,, under "certification."


See the chart below for testing window dates and "received by" application deadlines for the remainder of 2016.

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The HPCC Board of Directors for 2016 are as follows:


Julia Aucoin, DNS RN-BC CNE; Kathleen Broglio, DNP, ANP-BC, ACHPN, CPE; Catherine Glennon, MHS, RN, OCN, NE-BC; Susan Koff, MSN, ARNP, GNP-BC, ACHPN, CRRN; Stephen McGowan, MBA; Joyce Palmieri, MS, RN, CHPN; and new members Amy Beasley, DNP, RN, CHPN; Kimberly Kidd, RN, CHPN, CHPCA; and Stacy Smith, MLS, BSN, RN, CHPPN.


Officers for 2016 are Sue Koff, president; Joyce Palmieri, president-elect; Stephen McGowan, treasurer; and Catherine Glennon, secretary.



The HPCC held its annual HPCC Certification Recognition Event on Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois, at a luncheon during the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly.


The celebration luncheon included a presentation by David Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, CENP, NEA-BC, chief nursing and patient care services officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch Health System, who spoke on Continuing Competence in Certified Practice. The following award recipients were also recognized:


* Joan G. Carpenter, MN, CRNP, ACHPN, is the recipient of the Advanced CHPN of the Year.


* Ann Schneidman, MS, RN, CNS, CHPN, is the recipient of the CHPN of the Year.


* Susan O'Connor-Von, PhD, RN-BC, CHPPN, is the recipient of the Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse of the Year.


* Shelly Thomas, LPN, CHPLN, is the recipient of the Certified Hospice and Palliative Licensed Nurse of the Year.


* Sarah Collett, CAN, CHPNA, is the recipient of the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant of the Year.


* Amy Scheu, MSH CHPCA, is the recipient of the Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator of the Year.


* Hospice and Community Care of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is the 2016 HPCC Employer of the Year.




The HPCC offers Certificant of the Year Awards for individuals from all 7 HPCC programs. Award recipients receive their awards at the HPCC Certification Recognition Event during the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly.


Nominate a deserving individual for one of these prestigious awards. Contact the national office at 412-787-1057 or by e-mail at, or visit our Web site at for a nomination application. All nominations are due to the national office by July 1, 2016.



If you or someone you know is HPCC certified or a member of HPNA and interested in serving your profession, you may want to consider applying for a position on 1 of the 8 HPCC's Examination Development Committees.


Great care is taken to select candidates from both hospice and palliative care backgrounds, representing various geographic areas of the country and with clinical expertise, management, and academic expertise. It is very important that a sufficient number of qualified individuals apply to ensure the ongoing leadership for the certification process and accomplishment of the goals of the organization.


Applications are available on our Web site at under the "certification" heading, or you can contact the national office at 412-787-1057 or by e-mail at for an application packet or more information. Completed application packets are due to the national office by July 1, 2016.



Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation (HPNF) Education, Certification and Conference Scholarships, Research Grants, Chapter Education Grants, and Leadership Awards, to name a few, are all available now for both HPNA members and HPCC certificants. There are more than 100 opportunities, many providing registration and travel stipend. Application deadlines are rolling. Visit for details, eligibility criteria, and application materials.


We would like to call your attention to the available HPNF Certification Research Grant. The purpose of the Certification Research Grant is to help build a better understanding of the impact of palliative nursing certification on patient outcomes. Previous research has demonstrated that certified and noncertified nurses and nurse managers value certification. More recent research has begun to examine the impact of certification on patient outcomes. Studies done in the acute care setting suggest that care environments with a higher proportion of certified nurses have better patient outcomes. Replicating this research in the hospice or palliative care environment would advance our understanding of the value of palliative nursing certification.


The HPNF Certification Research Grant is intended to provide investigators with resources to conduct exploratory, pilot, or feasibility studies that will lead to larger-scale projects linking certification with patient outcomes. Examples include collecting preliminary data about the distribution of certification qualifications among staff of different types of organizations or examining data sets from health care systems for patterns of staffing and outcomes. One grant of up to $15 000 will be awarded annually. Proposals are due on or before July 1. The funding date is September 1 of the same year.


In addition, HPNF is dedicated to supporting HPNA Chapters and calls your attention to the Chapter Education Grants. Six grants of up to $1000 are awarded for innovative and effective projects designed to provide an educational opportunity to members or to expand chapter membership. That's a 100% increase in the award amount, new in 2016!


To bring you these scholarships, grants, and awards, the HPNF conducts fundraising. Visit our Web site at, where you can research our giving opportunities and donor circles. Or type in the following URL,, to make your gift now. Thank you!


Advancing Expert Care Campaign


Corporate Partnership Program



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