Close

Core Faculty

Lynn Reinke, PhD, ARNP, is an Investigator in Health Services Research & Development and a Nurse Practitioner at the VA Health Care System in Seattle, WA and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics, University of Washington, School of Nursing. Her research focuses on improving the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care for patients with advanced, life-limiting illnesses. Her studies are designed to test nurse-led palliative care interventions in sub-specialty and primary care services and on improving the quality of clinicians’ end-of-life communication skills. In Lynn’s time outside of work, she enjoys practice yoga and going to art museums.

Helene Starks, PhD, MPH is an Associate Professor in Bioethics & Humanities in the University of Washington School of Medicine and co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care. She is also the Academic Research Coach for the Division of General Internal Medicine. She is trained in communication (BA), and health services research (MPH, PhD). Her research and expertise focus on advance care planning, patient and family outcomes, and measuring the impact of palliative care programs for patients, families, clinicians and health care systems.  When Helene is not in her office, you can find her exploring Seattle on her bike, coloring mandalas or knitting hats and gloves.

Amy Trowbridge, MD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Bioethics and Palliative Care. She is an attending physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital on their Palliative Care Team and in Hospital Medicine. She earned her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, completed Pediatrics residency at University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Amy’s academic interests include improving pediatric palliative care for patients from diverse backgrounds and teaching primary palliative care and communication skills to health professionals at all levels. In her spare time, Amy likes to zip around Seattle on her e-bike and watch her toddler grow. 

Caroline Hurd, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Palliative Care and Internal Medicine at the University of Washington in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology and Geriatrics.  She earned her medical degree from University of California, San Francisco and completed Internal Medicine residency and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at University of Washington.  Caroline is the Co-Director for the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care at the University of Washington and an attending physician at Harborview Medical Center where she works on the inpatient Palliative Care team.  Caroline is Senior Faculty for VitalTalk and travels nationally to teach their train-the trainer courses. When not working, she spends free moments with her husband and two kids exploring the great outdoors or practicing resilience in the dance studio.  

Ardith Doorenbos, PhD, RN, FAAN Ardith Doorenbos is the Director of Palliative Care at the University of Illinois Cancer Center, Nursing Collegiate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an Affiliate Professor  in Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurses (AAN) and is the lead Co-Chair of the AAN palliative and end-of-life care expert panel. Ardith’s research is centered on palliative care and pain and symptom management. Her grant portfolio is funded by the National Institute of Health, the Department of Defense, and other professional sources.  When not at work, Ardith is caring for her aging parents and parents-in-law and sometimes can be found relaxing at her cabin in the Japanese National Forest.

Expert Faculty

Tonda Anderson, PA-C, MCHS, CCRN is a master’s certified physician assistant on the Virginia Mason Medical Center inpatient Palliative Care service.  She also worked on the inpatient Palliative Care service at Harborview Medical Center for several years.  Prior to graduate school at the University of Washington, she had two decades of medical experience as a critical care RN and exercise physiologist in Alaska and in the medical cardiac ICU at Harborview.  She completed specialized palliative care training through Harvard Medical School’s Palliative Care Education & Practice program 2015-2016 and is VitalTalk trained.  Tonda enjoys kayaking, hiking, gardening, all things nature, poetry, writing and knitting.

Mark Beiter, DO, FACP is a Palliative Care consultant and the Medical Director for Palliative Care at Virginia Mason Medical Center. He earned his osteopathy degree from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center.  Mark first became interested in palliative care after his residency program, while working with the underserved population at Monroe Correctional Complex. After his experience providing medical care to many seriously ill inmates, Mark recognized his passion for palliative care, and the importance of communicating with patients and families. This passion led to his transition from Internal Medicine to Palliative Care.  Mark underwent VitalTalk faculty development training and is working to bring communication training to the resident education programs and to practicing clinicians across the Virginia Mason health system.  When not working you can find him practicing yoga and spending time with his wife, son and daughter.

Grady Paden, MD, is a practicing Palliative Care and Internal Medicine provider at VA Puget Sound, who has been a UW School of Medicine faculty member for 27 years.  Grady worked in primary care for many years before pursuing his second career in palliative medicine.  He is a 2015 graduate of the inaugural Cambia UW Palliative Care Certificate Course and completed VitalTalk faculty development training in 2017.  In addition to this course, Grady uses his VitalTalk training as part of the national initiative by the VA system to train all providers in serious illness communication skills.  He enjoys skiing, the outdoors, and music. 

Rainy Sauer, MDiv, BCC, is a chaplain specializing in palliative care at Chaplaincy Healthcare in the Tri-Cities, WA.  She has been instrumental in developing their current model of care for palliative patients in the community outpatient setting.  She received a Master of Divinity from St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, MN and completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN.   Rainy was a fellow at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where she studied medical ethics, working primarily with bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients, and was fortunate for the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Stu Farber on his palliative team at the UW Medical Center.  In 2012, she was Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains and in 2017, received a Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from the UW.  Rainy is a proud mother of her children and grandchildren, who loves to hike, travel, make wine and practice yoga. 

Katie Schlenker, DO is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the UW Division of General Internal Medicine, and is an attending physician on the Palliative Care Service at the University of Washington Medical Center.  Katie earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and philosophy from Augustana College and her D.O. degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR, followed by Palliative Medicine fellowship at the University of Washington. Katie joined the UWMC Palliative Care Service after completing fellowship and has extensive experience working with patients facing complex cardiac conditions and bone marrow transplant.  When Katie is not at work, you can find her exploring the northwest with her husband, daughter and son.

Pamela Stitzlein Davies, MS, ARNP, ACHPN, RN-BC, FAANP, is a nurse practitioner with certifications in palliative care & hospice and pain management, and lectures and writes extensively on these topics. Pamela launched the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Supportive & Palliative Care Service in 2006, in addition to providing care in the Cancer Pain Clinic. She developed the SCCA End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) and shared this essential course content with more than 500 nurses regionally.  Currently with the UW Department of Neurology, she also teaches in the graduate nursing program at Seattle Pacific University. Past NP experience includes primary care, inpatient hospice, and pain research, preceded by decades as a critical care nurse. Pam enjoys hiking, photography, chorale, and walking her two Golden Retrievers with her husband.
PEDIATRIC TRACK

Susan Hedlund, LCSW, has been a social worker in the health care field for thirty years and has extensive experience working with individuals and families facing life threatening illness and loss. She is currently the Director of Patient and Family Services at the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU. She was previously the Director of Social Services and Palliative Care for Hospice and Palliative Care of Washington County in Portland Oregon, and is an associate professor at the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Sciences University, as well as the Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University. She is also an alumni of the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from 2018-2019. 

Kathy Perko, RN, MS, PPCNP-BC, CPON, CHPPN, FPCN received her BSN at the University of Portland and her MS/PNP at UC-San Francisco.  She has been a nurse for 35 years, 25 years as a PNP.  She is the Program Director of Bridges Palliative Care at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, OR.  She is a national ELNEC and EPEC (Education in Palliative and End of Life Care-Pediatrics) educator.   She is certified in Pediatric Oncology, Perinatal Loss and Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care.  In 2001, she founded the Bridges Palliative Care Program at Doernbecher.  She provides pain and symptom management, psychosocial and spiritual support to children and their families, and facilitates conversations about palliative and end of life care with care providers both in the hospital and the community.  In her free time, Kathy enjoys the opera, travel and reading. 

ADULT/PRIMARY CARE

Caroline Hurd, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Palliative Care and Internal Medicine at the University of Washington in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology and Geriatrics.  She is also the Oregon Regional Palliative Care Educator for Providence Health and Services. She earned her medical degree from University of California, San Francisco and completed Internal Medicine residency and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at University of Washington.  Caroline is the Co-Director for the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care at the University of Washington and an attending physician at Harborview Medical Center where she works on the inpatient Palliative Care team. Caroline is Senior Faculty for VitalTalk and travels nationally to teach their train-the trainer courses.  When not working, she spends free moments with her husband and two kids exploring the great outdoors or practicing resilience in the dance studio.  

Mari Matsumoto, MSW, CSWA is a Palliative Care Social Worker at Providence Health & Services in Portland Oregon. She is passionate about providing holistic patient-centered care to those with serious illness. Desires to ensure individuals’ values are elicited and honored throughout their health care journey, and to support individuals in maximizing self-determined quality of life. She is also an alumni of the Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from 2018-2019. 

Doug Niehus, MD is a Primary Palliative Care Super-champion with Providence Medical Group Scholls and sees mostly geriatric patients in his own practice.  He completed Vital Talk faculty development (and now is a certified Vital Talk instructor) as well as a Palliative Care Graduate Certificate Program through University of Washington in 2019. He has had many leadership roles within providence medical group having served as a clinic medical director at Tanasbourne and Scholls and Senior Medical Director for 12 clinics. He has also been faculty for The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care in Maryland. He has a great interest in bringing primary palliative care skills to providers and staff in Providence Medical Group, Oregon and continues to be interested in patient and family centered care for his patients. Outside of work Doug likes to cook and spend time outdoors with family and friends.

Marianne Parshley trained in internal medicine at Providence Portland and has practiced general internal medicine there through many changes in healthcare over the last few decades, first across inpatient & outpatient boundaries, then exclusively outpatient, focusing recently in geriatrics. All this while raising three lovely daughters. The best thing about work is her patients, second best is the team she works with, third is her bike commute. She believes in inter-professional team based care and in the value of the longitudinal relationships built with patients. Both teams and relationships are vital to provide patients and families with the best evidence based and goal concordant care. She also believes in life-long education and the ability of everyone to learn regardless of the age or stage of life.

Caroline Reay, MD, is a general Internist practicing in Portland for the last 30 years. She has been with Providence for 20 years. Her interest in providing better care for elderly and frail patients led her to complete the Graduate Palliative Care Certificate at University of Washington last year.  She hopes to promote Primary Palliative Care skills throughout the Providence system in the years to come. She enjoys traveling with her husband, biking to work, weight lifting and spending time with her two vivacious grown daughters.
Rainy Sauer, MDiv, BCC, is a chaplain specializing in palliative care at Chaplaincy Healthcare in the Tri-Cities, WA.  She has been instrumental in developing their current model of care for palliative patients in the community outpatient setting.  She received a Master of Divinity from St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, MN and completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, MN.   Rainy was a fellow at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, where she studied medical ethics, working primarily with bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients, and was fortunate for the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Stu Farber on his palliative team at the UW Medical Center.  In 2012, she was Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains and in 2017, received a Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care from the UW.  Rainy is a proud mother of her children and grandchildren, who loves to hike, travel, make wine and practice yoga.

Jim Schmidt, M.Min, is a hospice a spiritual care provider/supervisor and bereavement coordinator for Horizon Home Health and Hospice in Meridian, Idaho. He completed his Masters of Ministry degree from Northwest Nazarene University in 2002, his extended unity of clinical pastoral education at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in 2005. Jim has been providing spiritual and grief support since 2005 in both the Boise area and initially on the Oregon coast in the Brookings/Gold Beach area of southern Oregon. He participated in the 2019-2020 University of Washington’s Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care cohort. Jim enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys working on his 1970 Ford Mustang, fishing on the Snake River and time in the outdoors.

Michael Ross, MD is an attending emergency medicine physician at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.  He earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa, Iowa City and finished his Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  After a short stay in Bozeman, Montana, Mike and his family have lived in Boise, Idaho since 2003.  He has had a longstanding interest in Palliative Care and completed a graduate certificate from the University of Washington in 2019.  Mike is now focused on education within the health care system and promoting the benefits of early palliative care for patients.  Outside of the emergency department, Mike loves spending time with his wife and daughter, and enjoys doing anything and everything outdoors.

Gina Quiles-Pollard, RN, BSN is a Director of Patient Care Services for Walla Walla Community Hospice in Walla Walla, WA and recently participated in the 2019-2020 University of Washington’s Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care cohort.

Early in her nursing career, which spans over 20 years, she focused on pediatric care in South Florida’s Memorial Healthcare System where she cared for pediatric patients in the emergency, medical, surgical, and oncology departments. After thirteen years of rewarding work she and her family made the cross country move to the Pacific Northwest.  While in Walla Walla she led teams in family medicine, cardiac service lines, and currently in palliative and end of life care. She has also participated in research studying the relationship of diabetes in the local Latino community.  Gina loves her Cuban coffee in the mornings and salsa dancing to Celia Cruz in the evenings with her family.