About the Author
George Demiris is a PIK (Penn Integrates Knowledge) University Professor in the School of Nursing with a joint appointment in the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Debra Parker Oliver seeks to improve the dying experience for individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness and find ways to support loving family members who dedicate their time and energy to assure comfort for those they love. The hospice patients and families in her research studies reside either at home or in a nursing home. She is the principal investigator for a $2.9 million National Cancer Institute study on Access for Cancer Caregivers to Education and Support for Shared Decision Making, and a $500,000 National Institute on Aging grant on Shared Decision Making to Improve Palliative Care in the Nursing Home. In her research, Dr. Washington identifies strategies that are most effective in helping individuals and their families cope with chronic illness and live life on their own terms.