Institute for Palliative and End of Life Care Activities


Touching Lives

When you're a nurse
you know that every day you will touch a life
or a life will touch yours. — Author unknown

The IPEOLC online course, Interdisciplinary Palliative Care (HEAL 4901/5901) is offered each semester for interested undergraduate and graduate students, and the community at-large. The course provides learners with information about the breadth and depth of palliative care practices and services for individuals with serious illness and their families, and for healthcare providers from varied disciplines. More information is available in the Marquette University Courses Catalog.

There are varied opportunities for guidance, input, or support through the IPEOLC for graduate and doctoral students with interests in a palliative care-focused scholarly capstone project, research, or education residency.  


Since its founding, the IPEOLC has supported palliative care-focused research and quality improvement projects by students and faculty in the College of Nursing. The most recent work has focused on topics including palliative care screening in an intensive care setting, interprofessional education and socialization, heart failure, advance directives, adolescents and decision making, interprofessional education for students in health-related disciplines, and perceptions of palliative care in African American communities.  


Examples of the IPEOLC’s involvement in local collaborative efforts includes hosting of “Deep Listening” – a live theater event exploring palliative care meaning, a public screening of the film “Consider the Conversation”, and presentations to area organizations and groups.

Contributions to national initiatives include: participating in the education summit which developed palliative care Competencies and Recommendations for Educating Undergraduate Nursing Students (CARES) endorsed by AACN, and serving as faculty on the NIH-National Cancer Institute funded project for “Integrating Palliative Oncology Care into D.N.P. Education and Clinical Practice”.

Every two years, IPEOLC coordinates the James Wake Memorial Lecture with former Marquette provost and College of Nursing dean, Madeline Wake. The Lecture held in honor of the late James Wake and his devotion to helping others through his social work and chaplaincy career, is open to all at Marquette University and to the public.

The 2020 Lecture, with Dr. Joanne Wolfe, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Palliative Care in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), Director of Palliative Care at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, was held as a virtual event on Tuesday, November 10. Amplifying the Child and Family Voice in Pediatric Serious Illness is available as a recording.

Wake web slide


The 2018 speaker was Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, MA, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C and Founder of Collaborative Caring, speaking on the topic of Palliative Caring: Transforming the Culture of Care through the Integration of Key Palliative Care Principles. A video of the program is available below.