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The National Academies
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Project Information

Project Information

Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness

Project Scope:

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, will establish a Roundtable on Quality of Care for People with Advanced Illness. Through meetings, public workshops, and background papers, the Roundtable will foster an ongoing dialogue about critical policy and research issues to accelerate and sustain progress in care for people of all ages with advanced illness. Inspired by previous work at the IOM, including the 2014 IOM report Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life, the roundtable will convene key stakeholders to focus on five priority areas:

  • Delivery of person-centered, family-oriented care, including mechanisms to reduce multiple transitions between care settings during advanced illness and in the final phase of life; recognition and support for the role of family caregivers; and efforts to ensure that critically ill individuals and their families understand the benefits of, and have access to, palliative care. 
  • Communication and advance care planning, including clinician-initiated conversations with individuals and loved ones about end-of-life care values, goals, and preferences; policies to support and incentivize such conversations; and methods to record individual preferences and ensure that they are honored.
  • Professional education and development, including attention to palliative care in medical and nursing school curricula; reducing educational siloes to improve the development of inter-professional teams; and providers’ communication skills.
  • Policies and payment systems, including policies to reduce payment siloes and incentives that will result in use of helpful services; scale-up of successful programs that integrate health care and long-term social services;  policies to incentivize the provision of comprehensive palliative care; and the development of quality standards and measures.
  • Public education and engagement, including strategies to promote informed understanding of advanced care and end-of-life care issues among diverse groups; efforts to motivate health care consumers to seek high-quality care for themselves and their loved ones; and efforts to normalize conversations about death and dying through storytelling and advocacy at multiple levels.
The Roundtable will be limited to a three-year term in order to focus its activities on tangible, short-term goals. Activities associated with the Roundtable will include expert meetings, public workshops and webinars, summary publications, and targeted communications and community engagement activities. Roundtable membership will include federal agencies, health insurers, advocates, patients, health care providers, foundations, academics, and others interested in the topic.

All activities of the Roundtable will be conducted in accordance with institutional guidelines described in “Roundtables: Policy and Procedures.”

Status: Current

PIN: IOM-HSP-15-13

RSO: Graig, Laurene


Health and Medicine

Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

Committee Membership

No data present.



Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  

Description :   

The number of people requiring care for serious illness is expected to rise significantly over the next several decades as a result of the aging of the population, and the associated increase in the number of people living with multiple complex chronic health conditions. The current workforce, however, is not adequately prepared to meet the rapidly growing demand for services.

On November 7, 2019, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness will host a public workshop, Building the Workforce We Need to Care for People with Serious Illness. The workshop will examine the workforce to care for people with serious illness, including physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, community-based workers, and home health care workers. Workshop speakers will explore challenges and opportunities related to educating, training, and retaining the serious illness care workforce. The workshop will also focus on preparing and deploying interprofessional teams to care for people of all ages and all stages of serious illness.

The workshop will open with an overview of the current and projected state of the workforce for care of people with serious illness. The workshop will then unfold over four sessions. The first session will focus on the development of specialists, including mid-career, graduate, and fellowship certificate and certification programs. Preparing all health care professionals to care for people with serious illness will be examined in the second session. The third session will examine challenges and opportunities facing the community-based and home health care workforce. The last session will focus on ways to maximize the contributions of interprofessional team members, showcasing examples of workforce models in the care of people with serious illness. The speakers will discuss the reproducibility and scalability of innovative care models, specific considerations in the care of special populations and long-term care settings, and overcoming compassion fatigue and promoting resilience and retention.

Planning Committee Members

Brynn Bowman (co-chair), Center to Advance Palliative Care

Brenda Nevidjon (co-chair), Oncology Nursing Society

Jennifer Ballentine, California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care

Robert Bergamini, Mercy Clinic Children’s Cancer and Hematology, Representing the Supportive Care Coalition

Grace Campbell, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Representing the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

Clese Erikson, George Washington University

Denise Hess, Supportive Care Coalition, Representing the Association of Professional Chaplains

Amy Melnick, National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care

Jeri Miller, National Institute of Nursing Research

Miguel Paniagua, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Representing the National Board of Medical Examiners

Philip Pizzo, Stanford University School of Medicine

JoAnne Reifsynder, Genesis Healthcare, Representing the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

Joe Rotella, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Kaitlyn Friedman
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-3153

Supporting File(s)
Is it a Closed Session Event?

Publication(s) resulting from the event:




No data present.