News & Events
Laura Hogan, a URMC Senior Nurse Practitioner who epitomized the Nursing profession she loved and lived for nearly 40 years, died on Thursday August 22, 2019.
Laura was drawn to nursing from a young age, moved by a yearning to ease others’ suffering. Fresh out of high school she pursued an Associates Degree in Nursing at SUNY Morrisville. After graduating in 1980 she worked at Newark Wayne Community Hospital, and then moved to Strong Memorial Hospital, where she worked continuously for over thirty years in a variety of medical and surgical settings. In 1986 she joined the Pain Treatment Center, where she worked as a nurse coordinator. During her 10 years there she earned her BSN from Alfred and then her Masters from University of Rochester, achieving her professional goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner in 1997. She earned the rank of Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing in 2006.
In 2005, deeply drawn to the emerging field of palliative care, Laura became the second Nurse Practitioner in URMC’s new Palliative Care Program. She joined Dr. Timothy Quill and NP Marcia Buckley, and was integral to the Program’s development and approach to care of seriously ill patients and their families. Laura remained with Palliative Care for the duration of her career, helping the Program grow and achieve national renown. She helped shepherd it to becoming the first academic medical center to earn Joint Commission Advanced Certification in Palliative Care in 2011.
To expand her spiritual and mindful capacity in providing care, Laura pursued intensive training in “Being with Dying” under the guidance of Roshi Joan Halifax in New Mexico last Spring. She described this experience as transformative, one which deepened her inner life and her recognition and capacity to communicate about the finitude of life. Little did she know at the time how critical this training would be for her personally: just months later she was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. She pursued the complicated and difficult treatment with grace, grit and gratitude, including chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Then last month she suffered a severe relapse, which ended her life.
Dr. Timothy Quill, a world expert in palliative care, founding director of URMC’s Palliative Care Program, and Laura’s close friend and colleague, said of her, “Laura was a consummate teacher and role model in all aspects of her life, including the unexpected and tragic turn of fate when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She continued to be a role model, leader and compassionate caregiver to herself and others even as she faced the end of her life.”
Throughout her career Laura received numerous awards and honors, including the URMC Hero Fund Award (2009), Recognition of Service Award 30 Years URMC (2012), Patient and Family-Centered ICARE Award (2012), and 15 Strong Star Recognitions (2007-2016). She offered innumerable presentations to nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians and others at URMC, regionally, nationally and internationally, focusing on the nuts and bolts of pain management, patient and family education, interprofessional education, religion and spirituality in palliative care, team dynamics, communication skills, and self-care, among many other subjects.
Laura was particularly proud to be a co-developer and facilitator, along with Drs. Tom Carroll and Rob Horowitz, of URMC’s Advanced Communication Training (ACT) program. ACT is a 2-day interdisciplinary course to enrich clinician skills in serious illness conversations utilizing patient-actors, which has been completed by more than 100 URMC clinicians since Laura first co-facilitated it in early 2018. During her recent and final hospitalization, Laura recounted with delight how she learned about her leukemia relapse from two oncologists who credited ACT for their skill in delivering the bad news to her. She thanked them for their gracious and compassionate communication, and then informed them—no doubt, with great humility—of her role in ACT’s development. She said with tears in her eyes that they thanked her, with tears in their eyes, for being their teacher.
URMC’s Palliative Care Program dedicated its 4th Joint Commission recertification site visit last Thursday to Laura, just hours before she died. Dr. Robert Horowitz, Chief of the division, reflected on her influence. “Laura helped so many of us, in ways subtle and profound, become the healers and humans we are. And so it felt particularly right when our Joint Commission surveyor shared unbridled enthusiasm about our amazing team, community and Program. This is Laura’s award.”
Laura is survived by her father, Joseph (dear friend, Suzette Nadeau); sons, Daniel, Michael (Alicia) and Andrew; brother, David (Sarah); cousin, Marie (Rob) Marut; and loving partner, Geoffrey Williams, MD, PhD. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, August 31, 2 PM at All Seasons Chapel at White Haven Memorial Park, 210 Marsh Rd. Pittsford.
Oct 08, 2019
The Palliative Care Program at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital has earned its fourth Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Palliative Care Certification.
Apr 15, 2019
Sally Norton, a nationally recognized expert in palliative care research, has been named the new associate dean for research at the University of Rochester School of Nursing.
Mar 27, 2019
Families of cancer patients described three distinct experiences — “We Pretty Much Knew,” “Beating the Odds,” and “Left to Die” — in the final weeks of their loved one’s life. Wilmot Cancer Institute researchers gathered these valuable perspectives, identified the problems, and plan to use the data for improving care at this difficult and emotionally charged time.
Jul 23, 2018
Chin-Lin Ching, M.D., has been appointed as Director of the Highland Hospital Palliative Care Consult Service. Dr. Ching follows Daniel Mendelson, M.S., M.D., who became the first palliative care physician at Highland in 2000.
Jul 16, 2018
Highland Hospital’s Palliative Care Program has received Advanced Recertification from the Joint Commission, the nation’s main accrediting body in health care. This is the third recertification for the program. Highland first received Joint Commission Advanced Certification for palliative care in 2012 and recertification in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Jun 13, 2018
Palliative care physician Erin Denney-Koelsch, M.D., who formed an interdisciplinary program to support expectant parents of babies not likely to survive, was honored with the 2018 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award, a national award for physicians who care for people at the end of life.
Apr 10, 2018
With this award, Ronald M. Epstein, M.D., professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Medicine (Palliative Care), will continue his studies of doctor-patient communication.
Mar 15, 2018
The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine presented Timothy E. Quill, M.D., with its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, today at its Annual Assembly in Boston. An internationally recognized pioneer in palliative care and end-of-life decision making, Quill was founding director of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Palliative Care Program. He is a professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Medical Humanities and Nursing at the University of Rochester Medical Center and currently serves as Acting Director of the URMC Paul M. Schyve Center for Bioethics.
Nov 28, 2017
Robert K. Horowitz, M.D., has been named Chief of the Division of Palliative Care and the Georgia and Thomas Gosnell Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Oct 31, 2017
The Palliative Care Program at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital has once again earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Palliative Care Certification.
Aug 01, 2017
Patients with advanced cancer who suffer cardiac arrest in the hospital have a survival rate of less than 10 percent—half the rate of other patients without cancer, according to a nationwide study led by the University of Rochester Medical Center.
May 04, 2017
The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) is honoring Ronald Epstein, M.D., with the 2017 STFM Gold Humanism Award. The award recognizes an STFM member each spring for attributes of humanism in medicine, defined by respectful and compassionate relationships with other physicians and the health care team, and with patients. It reflects attitudes, behaviors, and values that are sensitive to the values and backgrounds of others.
Sep 09, 2016
Specifically training oncologists and their patients to have high-quality discussions improves communication, but troubling gaps still exist between the two groups, according to a new study in JAMA Oncology.
Jul 14, 2016
Misunderstandings about prognosis between patients with advanced cancer and their doctors was common, in a study reported in JAMA Oncology, and the vast majority of patients didn’t know that their doctors held different opinions about how long they might live.
Mar 24, 2015
David Korones, M.D., pediatric oncologist and palliative care physician at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital, has been awarded the 2015 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Senior Physician Award, a national award for physicians who care for people at the end of life. Korones specializes in treating children with brain tumors and is the founding director of Golisano Children’s Hospital’s pediatric palliative care program.