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The Continuum Project

The Continuum Project is a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) culture change initiative that grew out of a 2015 taskforce convened by MGH president, Dr. Peter Slavin, and charged with developing a comprehensive strategy to care for patients and families facing serious illness.

Our team works to implement the Serious Illness Care Program at MGH, to engage patients and families in living well now and preparing for the future, and to develop educational material for clinicians, patients, and families.

Within each medical specialty, the project is led by scholars—clinicians who develop additional expertise in palliative care through a two-week palliative care course. These scholars partner with the Continuum Project to optimize workflow, promote local culture change, and publish implementation science scholarship.

Our Vision

A culture of living well with
serious illness.

Our Mission

To improve the serious illness experience for patients, families, clinicians, and staff, through engagement, advance care planning, and innovation in education and technology.

Our Specialties

The Continuum Project collaborates with the following MGH specialties:
Cardiology

Cardiology

Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine

Geriatrics

Geriatrics

Medical ICU

Medical ICU

Neurology

Neurology

Oncology

Oncology

Pediatric ICU

Pediatric ICU

Pediatrics

Pediatrics

Primary Care

Primary Care

Surgery

Surgery

...and More

...and More

What We Do

How the Continuum Project is Transforming Serious Illness Care
Serious Illness Care Program icon

Serious Illness Care Program

Implements a systems-based approach to high-quality advance care planning that gives clinicians knowledge, skills and infrastructure.

Engagement icon

Engagement

Engages patients, families, clinicians and staff in the process of preparing for serious illness decision-making and empowers them to have their needs met.

Education icon

Education

Develops models of palliative care education that improve palliative care skills across all disciplines.

Who We Are

The Continuum Project is comprised of dozens of individuals that help to drive our mission to care for seriously ill patients. At the forefront of the project is our core team who work hand-in-hand with passionate scholars in each of our clinical areas across the hospital. We also have a wonderful support system of advisory boards who help guide the Continuum Project.

Core Team

Juliet Jacobsen, MD

Medical Director View Bio
Juliet Jacobsen, MD
Medical Director

Dr. Jacobsen is a palliative care clinician with experience and training in communication and education. Dr. Jacobsen supervises a team that includes a program manager, an education specialist, a patient engagement expert, a cohort of primary palliative care scholars, and a group of palliative care clinician educators.

Corinne Alexander, MD

Serious Illness Care Program Training View Bio
Corinne Alexander, MD
Serious Illness Care Program Training

Dr. Alexander is a palliative care clinician with experience integrating Primary Care and Palliative Care. Dr. Alexander oversees clinician training for the Serious Illness Care Program.

Brooke Duggan, LICSW

Clinical Social Worker View Bio
Brooke Duggan, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker

Brooke works as a clinical social worker on the inpatient palliative care team, and has many years’ experience in both palliative care and geriatrics.  Brooke is also apart of the Continuum Project and is developing a role as a support/coach to the medicine teams here at MGH to help with the Serious Illness Conversation Guide.

Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA

Patient Engagement View Bio
Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA
Patient Engagement

Susan Edgman-Levitan is the Director of the Stoeckle Center for Primary Care at MGH and a national expert on patient engagement with more than 25 years of patient engagement experience.

Jeff Greenwald, MD

Associate Director of Implementation View Bio
Jeff Greenwald, MD
Associate Director of Implementation

Dr. Greenwald is a hospital medicine clinician who directs clinical groups’ post-training implementation of the Serious Illness Care Program in Hospital Medicine, Neurology, and Pediatrics. In addition, Dr. Greenwald oversees the Hospital Medicine research protocol to assess the impact of serious illness conversations on patients, families, clinicians, and systems-level measures.

Pat O’Malley, MD

Pediatric Lead View Bio
Pat O’Malley, MD
Pediatric Lead

Pat O’Malley is a pediatric palliative care clinician who is the medical director and founder of the pediatric palliative care service at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children. She is working to modify and incorporate the Serious Illness Conversation tools into the care of children with medical complexity and their families.

Phuong Nguyen, BA

Senior Project Coordinator View Bio
Phuong Nguyen, BA
Senior Project Coordinator

Phuong assists with the advancement of various Continuum Project initiatives, manages the Serious Illness Care Program training and CME/CEU requirements, supervises the internship program, and provides administrative support. In addition, she brings clinical and research experience gained from her three-year internship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Phuong
graduated from Tufts University with a focus in political science and community health programs.

Liza Nyeko, MS

Patient Experience & Engagement View Bio
Liza Nyeko, MS
Patient Experience & Engagement

Liza Nyeko is a Program Director who has worked at Mass General for over 11 years in the Office of Patient Experience and Center for Quality and Safety in a variety of capacities. Liza has expertise in patient experience, patient & family advisory councils, and process improvement.

Michaela Rowland, NP

Nurse Practitioner View Bio
Michaela Rowland, NP
Nurse Practitioner

Michaela Rowland is a palliative care nurse practitioner also with experience and training in oncology. Her interests include integration of palliative care principles in the care of oncology patients and determining and mitigating barriers to achieving those goals.

Matt Russell, MD

Primary Care Lead View Bio
Matt Russell, MD
Primary Care Lead

Dr. Russell is a Geriatrics and Palliative Care Clinician with expertise and training in relationship centered communication (RCC) through the Academy on Communication in Healthcare, of which he is a faculty member. In addition to leading the implementation of the Serious Illness Care Program in Primary Care, he also serves as the medical director of the Senior Health Clinic at MGH.

Kelly Spinelli, BS

Project Manager View Bio
Kelly Spinelli, BS
Project Manager

Kelly has many years of healthcare experience in project management, process improvement/quality improvement, workflow integration as well as implementing and supporting hospital information systems. She assists with the development, organization, facilitation and implementation of the Continuum Project.

Erica Wilson, MD

Technology and Learning View Bio
Erica Wilson, MD
Technology and Learning

Dr. Wilson is a palliative care clinician and information technology specialist and who assists with the development of educational platforms and supports the integration of Continuum Project work into clinical workflow in the electronic health record.

Scholars

2019-2020

Annah Abrams, MD
Pediatric Psychiatry
Lauren Boal, MD
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Christy Cauley, MD
Surgery
David D’Alessandro, MD
Cardiac Surgery
David Dudzinski, MD
Cardiac ICU
Jean Fahey, RN
Neurology
Michelle Gorski, RN
Cardiac ICU
Masaya Higuchi, MD
Geriatrics
Daniel Hoch, MD
Neurology
Dalena Matthews, RN
Cardiac ICU
Danielle Salgueiro, RN
Neurology ICU
Sara Stevens, NP
Oncology

2018-2019

Katlyn Breton, NP
Primary Care
Erin Coglianese, MD
Cardiology
Michael Flaherty, DO
Pediatric ICU
Sara Joyce, NP
Oncology
Natasha Lever, NP
Cardiology
Janet Murphy, MD
Oncology
Rhaea Photopoulos, NP
Oncology
Lydecke Sweet, MD
Primary Care
Kerstin Zanger, MD
Pediatrics

2017-2018

Lillian Ananian, PhD, MSN, RN
Medical ICU
Brooke Duggan, LICSW
Geriatrics
Areej El-Jawahri, MD
Oncology
Kellyann Jeffries, NP
Oncology
Brittany Kelly, NP
Pediatrics
Christine McCarthy, RN
Medical ICU
Sharda Mukunda, MD
Geriatrics
Kerry Reynolds, MD
Oncology
Emily Rubin, MD
Medical ICU
Darlene Sawicki, NP
Neurology
Shannon Scott-Vernaglia, MD
Pediatrics
Jeanne Vaughn, NP
Oncology

2016-2017

Emily Aaronson, MD
Emergency Medicine
Joyce Barkin, NP
Primary Care
Kim Cheevers, RN
Pediatric ICU
Brad Dickerson, MD
Neurology
Diane Fingold, MD
Primary Care
Denisa Gace, DO
Hospital Medicine
Jeff Greenwald, MD
Hospital Medicine
Tara Jennings, NP
Oncology
Cindy LaSala, CNS
Hospital Medicine
Annie Lee, MD
Primary Care
Alison McDonough, MD
Primary Care
Michele McHugh, NP
Primary Care
Michael Nathan, MD
Primary Care
Elahna Paul, MD
Pediatric ICU
Maria Rice, RN
Emergency Medicine
Justine Romano, LICSW
Pediatric ICU
Kate Treadway, MD
Primary Care
Phoebe Yager, MD
Pediatric ICU

Advisory Board

Continuum Project Advisory Board

Peter Slavin, MD
MGH President
Katrina Armstrong, MD
Chief of Service, Physician-in-Chief, Medicine
O’Neil Britton, MD
Senior Vice President; Chief Medical Officer
Debra Burke, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President, Patient Care; Chief Nurse
John Co, MD, MPH
GME Director; Pediatric Outpatient Quality and Safety Director
Timothy Ferris, MD
MGPO Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth Geagan
Executive Director, Medicine
Elizabeth Mort, MD
Senior Vice President, Quality & Safety; Chief Quality Officer
Britain Nicholson, MD
Senior Vice President, Development
Gregory Pauly
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Joan Sapir, EdM, MBA
Senior Vice President, Administration
Lee Schwamm, MD
Executive Vice Chair; Chief, Stroke Service
David Ting, MD
MGPO Chief Medical Information Officer
Kellyann Jeffres, NP
Director of Advanced Practice Oncology Providers
Darlene Sawicki, MSN, NP-BC
Director of Advanced Practice Providers

Engagement Advisory Committee

Colleen Delaney
Director, Internal Communications, Publications and Operations, Public Affairs
Marie Elena Gioiella
Director, Social Service Department
Joseph Greer, PhD
Clinical Assistant in Psychology, Psychiatry
John B. Herman, MD
Associate Chief, Psychiatry
Michelle M. L’Heureux, MD
Physician, Internal Medicine
Jane Louise Maffie-Lee, NP
Clinical Program Director, Medicine
Virginia Manzella
Senior Administrative Director, Primary Care
Michele McHugh, MSN
Nurse Practitioner, Revere Health Center Internal Medicine
Carol Michael
Patient/Family Representative
Ellen Robinson, RN, PhD
Nursing, Institute for Patient Care; Clinical Nurse Specialist
Carrie Stamos
Patient/Family Representative
Steven F. Taranto
Director, Human Resources

Slavin Taskforce

Peter Slavin, MD
MGH President
Katrina Armstrong, MD
Chief of Service, Physician-in-Chief, Medicine
Shea Asfaw
Chief of Staff, MGH
Ed Bajwa, MD, MPH
Physician, Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit
Debjani Banerji, MHA
Administrative Director, Division of Palliative Care & Geriatric Medicine
David Brown, MD
Chief, Department of Emergency Medicine
Debra Burke, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President, Patient Care; Chief Nurse
Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA
Executive Director, Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation
Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP
Chief Nurse Emerita, Nursing
Tim Ferris, MD
Chief Executive Office, MGH
Theresa Gallivan, RN
Associate Chief Nurse, Nursing
Marie Elena Gioiella
Director, Social Service Department
Peter Greenspan, MD
Vice Chair; Medical Director, MassGeneral Hospital for Children
Vicki Jackson, MD
Chief, Palliative Care Division
Keith Lillemoe, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief, Department of Surgery
Jesse MacKinnon, RN
Nurse, Patient Care Units
Josh Metlay, MD, PhD
Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine
Carol Michael
Patient/Family Representative
Cathy Minehan
MGH Board of Trustees
Britain Nicholson, MD
Senior Vice President, Development
Pat O’Malley, MD
Director, Pediatric Palliative Care
Rev. John Polk
Chaplaincy
Kimberly Parks, MD
Cardiologist, Cardiology Division
Ann Prestipino, MPH
Senior Vice President; Surgery, Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine and Clinical Business Development
David Ryan, MD
Chief, Hematology/Oncology Unit
Ellen Robinson, RN, PhD
Nursing, Institute for Patient Care; Clinical Nurse Specialist
Joan Sapir, EdM, MBA
Senior Vice President, Administration
Lee Schwamm, MD
Executive Vice Chair; Chief, Stroke Service
Peggy Slasman
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs
Jennifer Temel, MD
Clinical Director, Thoracic Oncology
Katharine Treadway, MD
Physician, Internal Medicine
Tony Weiner, MD
Physician, Psychiatry

Contact Us

Please send us any questions or comments you may have by completing the contact form.

Phone  Phone: 617-643-2880
Fax  Fax: 617-643-6305
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