In June 2015, I wrote about the need for new training programs in palliative care, because of the projected shortage in providers. At that time I wrote that Amos Bailey, MD, a well-known leader in the field of Palliative Medicine and a new colleague of mine at the University of Colorado had a pretty innovative idea. He had set up a task force to offer a new degree program: a Master of Science in Palliative Care. This would be an inter-professional executive master’s that would be provided predominantly online with three separate one-week on-campus intensives. The program would be designed for the clinicians (physicians and advance practice providers) who were already working and needed or desired more training in palliative care.

Gaining traction

Over the next three weeks, 575 individuals completed our SurveyMonkey survey, with 75 percent of respondents reporting they would be “interested” or “very interested” in such a program. This strong endorsement of the need and potential student demand was key to completing our proposal for the new Master’s of Science in Palliative Care.

A ringing endorsement

We presented the proposal to the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado in September 2015.  In a surprise move, the Board of Regents elected to suspend their usual rules and voted for immediate approval of the project. This was a ringing endorsement of the Interprofessional Taskforce that had developed the proposal and the people who completed the survey.

The Inaugural Class is being recruited now for fall 2016. I would encourage you learn more about the program online and ask you to share this exciting new opportunity you’re your colleagues.

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