For Health Care Professionals

The Institute for Human Caring offers physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, case managers and other continuing education and advanced training to support whole person care.

The Institute’s provider education portfolio emphasizes ongoing communication, goals-of-care clarification, and shared decision-making, as well as pain and symptom management – including the safe use of opioids. 


Advanced communication training offers clinicians skills to engage in goals-of-care conversations with patients and families, particularly with serious illness. Physicians need to take the lead in initiating such discussions with patients and families.

Done well, the outcomes are mutually reinforcing. For patient and families, the benefits include:

  • Getting the full advantages of evidence-based treatments
  • Avoiding unwanted, or non-beneficial, and expensive treatments
  • Having more time at home
  • Knowing what to do if problems occur and, therefore, spending less time dealing with crises
  • Having confidence in treatment decisions
  • Feeling known (as a person) by one’s health care team.

Professional caregivers benefit by feeling more fulfilled in their jobs and proud of the high-quality, personalized care they provide.

“I liked the fact the training emphasized what is it that you value as a patient, what are the things you’d like to retain through your serious illness. It moves from your disease, to what’s important to you, so we’re treating the person, not a disease.” – Dr. Vik Dahbi, oncologist, PacMed


Center to Advance Palliative Care. Dousedaicon St. Joseph Health caregivers have free access to more than 35 CME/CEU-certified courses.

– Video “prescriptions” for clinicians to help foster meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations with patients.

Get to Know Me – Free posters to help improve caregiver/patient engagement and deliver patients from anonymity.

Hear Me Now – A partnership with StoryCorps® to record interviews with patients, family and caregivers. Storytelling and listening have proven clinical value, and are keys to whole person care.

Serious Illness Conversation Guide – A document outlining how to set up, guide and follow up conversations with patients facing serious illness.

For more information, [email protected] or 310-543-3497.