Palliative Care Research

Palliative medicine research at UNMH is grounded in our mission—to provide outstanding care that improves the quality of life for patients dealing with a serious illness.  

Our interdisciplinary team of experts focus efforts on:  

  • Coordinating care for surgical patients 
  • How ethnicities, cultural backgrounds and spiritual beliefs can affect care 
  • Integrating care into outpatient cancer support 
  • Medical student education 
  • The role of adverse childhood events and trauma 

Just as our research focus includes a diverse range of topics, our goals are wide-ranging.  

Locally, we strive to better understand the palliative needs of New Mexico’s diverse populationThat includes offering advance care planning for Native American patients and improving access to care for underserved populations with complex health problems.  

Solidifying the role of palliative care with cancer patients is an important goal for our teamFrom providing access to care for patients with end stage renal disease, to evaluating the impact of care for patients with GI cancers, our work combines research and real-world situations.

Previous and Ongoing Research Projects

Our research continues to make an impact on our patients, their families and our communityProjects include:  

  • Acute pain management education in surgical residencies 
  • Collaboration with investigators at Johns Hopkins and Harvard to assess the impact of perioperative palliative care on patients with upper gastrointestinal cancers 
  • Designing a palliative care outpatient home visit program  
  • Disparities in anal cancer presentation among Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites 
  • Improving outpatient services 
  • Retrospective analysis of quality of end of life care for American Indian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white patients with advanced cancer who received inpatient palliative care 
  • Surgeon response to patient loss 
  • Telemedicine and Project ECHO 
  • The impact of communication skills training for medical students 
  • Underutilization of palliative care for patients with hepatobiliary malignancies