February 10, 2021

Support Strategies for Grief and Loss

Perspectives from palliative care expert Heather Coats, PhD, APRN-BC

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues unabated, more and more people are dealing with loss and grief. Compassionately caring for the grieving person and their care partners has nuances that all healthcare practitioners should consider. On this episode, assistant research professor Heather Coats, PhD, APRN-BC, provides insights that can help clinicians care for their grieving patients. Because her work also focuses on palliative care for Black people, indigenous people, and other people of color, Coats tells us about racial disparities that need to be addressed when discussing grief and loss. Coats is a palliative care nurse practitioner and director of research for the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

Approximate listening time is 20 minutes.

About the Expert

Heather Coats, PhD, APRN-BC, is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, where her program of research focuses on improving psychological-social-spiritual wellbeing for people living with serious illness and their families, through the development of and testing of person-centered narrative interventions that are integrated into the person’s electronic health record. For this work, she has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for 7 years. Coats is also director of research for the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. Prior to her appointment as faculty at the University of Colorado, she completed a 2-year palliative care research postdoctoral NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute T32 fellowship at the University of Washington's Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence.

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