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Creighton’s Potthoff Named Sojourns Scholar

Meghan PotthoffThe Cambia Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Cambia Health Solutions based in Portland, Oregon, has selected Creighton University’s Meghan Potthoff, PhD, BSN’01, associate professor of nursing, as one of 10 palliative care leaders accepted into its Sojourns® Scholar Leadership Program.

The corporate foundation said Potthoff was selected after “a rigorous selection process from a highly competitive pool” drawn from candidates across the United States across all health sciences disciplines.

The Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program provides each recipient with $180,000 in funding over a two-year period, aimed at developing impactful change in the field of palliative care. Typically, palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life for patients and their families while managing serious and chronic illnesses.

Potthoff was selected on the strength of her desire to develop a “Pediatric Palliative Care Conversation Toolkit for the Chronic Critically Ill,” which she says can be used to guide conversations between health sciences professionals and the families of chronically ill children within the setting of an intensive care unit. Key to this goal will be integrating an academic nurse scientist into the clinical palliative care team with the hope of improving both family perception of quality of communication and the capacity of families to provide care to their children.

Once developed, the “toolkit” will be made available as an open-access service to health sciences professionals across the nation.

In addition to the grant funding, the leadership program provides participants with individual mentorship as they move toward fulfilling their goals, as well as collaboration with other scholars.

Potthoff said the creation of a cohort of interdisciplinary scholars offers an appealing opportunity to discuss and encourage one another’s work through participation in seminars and sessions.

“My goal is to become a leading doctorally prepared nurse scientist who is integrated into an interdisciplinary clinical team,” she says.

“I envision this as a team project. As a faculty member in the Creighton University College of Nursing, I foster a team science setting in our curriculum. As a nurse practitioner, I foster the upbringing and mentoring of junior nurse practitioners to include hosting palliative care education lectures and didactics around difficult cases. I look forward to learning from my Sojourns colleagues across disciplines on how best to lead within and across our fields.”

Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to making health care more person-focused and economically sustainable. Founded in 2007, the foundation has funded almost $70 million in grants to advance patient- and family-centered care. Learn more at


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