David Casarett, MD, MA

David Casarett’s clinical work focuses on the care of dying patients, and his scholarship addresses the ethical challenges of informed consent for research and clinical care in patients near the end of life and other vulnerable groups. Dr. Casarett is a member of the ethics committee of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and he is Chair of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Task Force on the ethics of end of life research. He has served on end of life panels for the American College of Physicians and the American Thoracic Society and is a Faculty Leader in the Veterans Affairs End of Life Project.
Dr. Casarett completed his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College, and obtained his MD at Case Western Reserve University, where he also completed an MA in Medical Anthropology. He was a resident and Chief resident at the University of Iowa, and pursued fellowships in ethics and in Palliative Medicine at the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively. He has recently joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is an Instructor in the Division of Geriatrics. He is on staff at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, where he has developed an innovative Palliative Care Consultation Clinic.

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH

Christine Ritchie, MD, MSPH, FACP, FAAHPM, is the Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research and Aging in the Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
A graduate of Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, she completed her internal medicine residency, chief residency and geriatric fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is a board certified geriatrician and palliative care physician and has a long-standing experience in clinical care delivery models, medical home care and advanced illness research. She is a recipient of an NIA-funded Geriatric Academic Leadership Award in Advanced Illness and Multimorbidity. She is also an inaugural member of the NIH-funded national Palliative Care Research Cooperative. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Palliative Medicine, serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences and is on the Board of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Ritchie serves on the Public Policy and Research Committees of the American Academy of Homecare Physicians, has built and directed integrated health care programs that included medical house calls and has previously created a highly successful medical registry for managing patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in two health care systems.

Amy Abernethy, MD

Dr. Abernethy directs the Center for Learning Healthcare (CLHC) in the Duke Clinical Research Institute.  She also directs the Duke Cancer Care Research Program (DCCRP), a part of the CLHC that connects to the Duke Cancer Institute.
Dr. Abernethy is an appointee to the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum, Co-Chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group, President-Elect of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, on the Board of Directors for the Personalized Medicine Coalition, on the Advisory Board for the Rapid Learning System for Cancer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Co-Principal Investigator of a NIH-funded faculty development (K01) program in comparative effectiveness research at Duke.

Dr. Abernethy also attends on Duke’s palliative care service, with special focus on improving the quality of life for people with advanced cancer and their families.  Dr. Abernethy completed medical training, residency, and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Duke University.

Duke University School of Medicine

Kathleen Puntillo, RN, DNSc, FAAN

Professor of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Kathleen Puntillo is Professor of Nursing and Co-Director of the Critical Care/Trauma graduate program at the University of California, San Francisco.  She has an active and long-standing program of research on pain in critically ill and injured patients and procedural pain.  She has expanded her research to include investigations of symptom assessment and management in intensive care unit (ICU) patients at high risk of dying. Her current study is funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Puntillo is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and was a Faculty Scholar with the Project on Death in America.  She has received many awards including the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ (AACN) Distinguished Researcher Award and the Society of Critical Care Medicine’ (SCCM) Grenvik Family Award for Ethics. She is actively involved in many professional organizations including AACN, SCCM, and the American Pain Society.  She practices critical care nursing on a regular basis and publishes and lectures extensively on the topics of pain, palliative care, and symptom management.

University of California, San Francisco