Kanarek Center

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Transforming Nursing Education

Fairfield University is pleased to announce the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education, which is housed in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. This Center of Education officially opened this fall and offers a comprehensive, integrated curriculum that provides students and nursing professionals the education needed to be leaders in palliative care. The aim of the Center for Palliative Care is to facilitate high quality, evidence-based, quality-of-life focused services for patients with serious illnesses or injuries and their families.

The Center is made possible by the generous leadership gift from Fairfield University trustee and alumna, Robin Kanarek ‘96 RN, BSN, of the Kanarek Family Foundation. To learn more about the Kanarek Family Foundation, please visit kanarekfamilyfoundation.org.


Please read our Thinkspace articles about the future of Palliative Care.

Vision And Mission Statements


The Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education will be a center of excellence for evidence-based palliative and end-of-life care education. Our distinguished faculty and staff seek to transform palliative care by developing the next generation of specialized leaders in the field and ensuring that all nursing graduates, and nurses in our partnering healthcare facilities integrate high quality palliative healthcare into clinical practice. We further seek to generate consumer- and provider-driven communication that serves as a regional and national resource to inspire understanding of best practices in palliative and end-of-life care.


To advance nursing leadership and foster interprofessional collaboration that enhances the lives of patients and families in palliative and end-of-life care through education, administration, practice, research and policy. We strive to achieve this mission by:

  • Educating to promote curative, carative, holistic evidence-based practices.
  • Respecting patients’ rights throughout the trajectory of serious illness.
  • Promoting access to compassionate and high quality palliative healthcare.
  • Incorporating the dimension of spirituality in care as a tool for comfort and relief for all patients

Robin Kanarek, ’96, RN, BSN in Dying in America: Nurses Leading the Conversation
directed by award-winning filmmaker Carolyn Jones.

Robin Kanarek ’96, RN, BSN, chair of the Kanarek Center of Palliative Care Nursing Education has been a registered nurse since 1979 and has worked in the clinical areas of cardiology, spinal cord injury, physical rehabilitation, and diabetes education. She is the president of the Kanarek Family Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 2006 to honor the memory of her son, David, who died in 2000 following a battle with leukemia.

Updates & Events

Greenwich Hospital hosted its annual gala fundraiser at the Greenwich Country Club on Saturday, October 20 with over 350 supporters in attendance. The event, entitled, “Treasure Gala for Greenwich Hospital” raised over $1 million dollars for the hospital’s emergency department and honored The Bennett and Kanarek families for their volunteerism, leadership, and philanthropic engagement in support of Greenwich Hospital.

End-Of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Program

The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies is offering education for nurses based on the End-of- Life Nursing Education Consortium's (ELNEC)© curriculum. The Project is a national end-of-life educational program administered by City of Hope (COH) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) designed to enhance palliative care in nursing.

There are six, 120 minute sessions, covering eight topics: Palliative Nursing Care; Pain Management; Symptom Management; Ethical Issues; Cultural and Spiritual Considerations; Communication; Loss, Grief, and Bereavement; and Final Hours.

Presenters have attended ELNEC training seminars, and are knowledgeable in the content areas they will be teaching. Materials such as power points, case studies and references will be distributed to participants.

The program will be offered at Fairfield University's Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education beginning in the spring of 2018. Participants attending all six sessions will receive ELNEC certificates of completion. Registered Nurses will receive up to 12 contact hours through the Ct Nurse’s Association.

The cost is $1500 per institution, which allows for a maximum of 30 attendees for the one fee of $1500. However, agencies that have only several individuals who wish to attend may sign up individuals for a cost of $150.00 per person.

Click on link to register:  www.fairfield.edu/elnec

 Session dates vary. Please contact Deb Matthews for more information at dmatthews@fairfield.edu.

Graduate Curricula Offerings

Palliative Care Concentration (38 credits)

This program targets nurses with diverse career specialties, professional goals and personal interests. In addition to a strong core of courses, the curriculum can be customized to meet the diverse needs of the nursing professional, allowing students to choose a concentration in Palliative Care. To better align students with the interdisciplinary healthcare environment, this program includes the core courses (with additional electives both in and outside the Egan School of Nursing (9 credits).

An example of elective:


Number Course School
CN 525 Spirituality and Wellness Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions
CO 497Q End of Life Communication College of Arts and Sciences
NS 668 End of Life Nursing Education Curriculum Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies


Following the completion of the electives, students in the MSN in Nursing Leadership complete a graduate level practicum experience (150 hours/3credits). Student practicums are designed to suit the professional goals of the individual students. Leadership students work closely with faculty to make a unique contribution to healthcare based on their graduate curriculum and clinical expertise. Opportunities related to palliative care may include improvement projects, education or curriculum projects. Students may pursue practicum opportunities in the clinical or academic setting. Students are encourage to reach beyond their “comfort zone” to utilize leadership skills and make changes to improve the experience of individuals in need of palliative care.

The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies received a two year Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) HRSA grant for their IPAC program (Integrating Palliative care education Across the Community) this provides didactic and clinical education experiences that prepare nurse practitioners to deliver palliative care education services in underserved community-based primary care settings. The funds will support traineeships for the students as well as program infrastructure for the academic partnership (AP). The partnership will provide longitudinal primary care clinical training experiences with rural and/or underserved populations and to facilitate program graduates’ employment in those settings. In addition to providing high-quality educational preparation for its’ Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) students, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies (Egan School) seeks to integrate cutting-edge approaches to the delivery of palliative care for patients across the lifespan throughout the NP courses beginning in Spring 2017.

The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) has been utilized to enhance our graduate nursing curricula. ELNEC Modules and innovative simulation scenarios are being integrated into selected courses. This integration is concentrated in the clinical courses of the Family Nurse Practitioner Curricula, which begins after the first year of courses.



Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies faculty members who have completed ELNEC education seminars, and are experts in the various content areas will be offering educational sessions to community partners. The inaugural program will be offered at the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education beginning in September 2017. Upon program completion, nurse participants will receive ELNEC certificates of completion as well as 12 continuing education contact hours as approved by the CT Nurses Association.

Looking for Undergraduate Programs?

Advisory Board

The Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education Advisory Board is comprised of distinguished professionals with interests in healthcare and nursing.


Browse our list of frequently asked questions to learn more about Palliative Care.

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Contact Us

Deb Matthews
Program Manager, Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education
(203) 254-4000 ext. 2714


Director, Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education
(203) 254-4000 ext.2703


To support the initiative, contact:
Karen Kaiser
Director of Development for Nursing and Health Studies
(203) 254-4000 ext.3258

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