Gerontology Institute Launches Center for Palliative Care

The Ithaca College Gerontology Institute has established the Center for Palliative Care, which aims to promote and advance palliative care in rural communities through research, education and community development. Palliative care means enhanced healthcare for people with serious illness, at any stage and any age.

Elizabeth Bergman


The center is co-directed by Elizabeth Bergman, associate professor of gerontology, and Barbara Ganzel, director of the Gerontology Institute.

“Palliative care is for people with serious illness and their families, and focuses on improving quality of life and reducing suffering,” says Bergman. “It addresses physical pain as well as other physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. An important goal of the Center for Palliative Care is to build capacity for this type of care in rural Upstate New York.”

The center was launched with an inaugural conference held on April 5, which explored how palliative care is handled in Upstate New York and where it is headed — in practice, policy and innovation.

Barbara Ganzel


In addition to Bergman and Ganzel, speakers at the conference included Stephanie Woolever (Care Compass Network), Dale Johnson and Suzanne Anderson (Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins and Cortland Counties), Deb Traunstein (Cayuga Medical Center), Robin Stawasz (CareFirst) and Thomas Caprio (University of Rochester Medical Center).

Part of the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Gerontology Institute was established in 1992 to serve as a campus and community resource that promotes and supports research, curriculum development, community education and community service activities in gerontology. For more information on the institute, visit www.ithaca.edu/gerontology.

For more information on the Center for Palliative Care, call 607-274-1965 or email ebergman@ithaca.edu or bganzel@ithaca.edu.

Elizabeth Bergman is co-director of the Center for Palliative Care.