REGAIN: Roadmap for Evaluating Goals in Advanced Illness Navigation (2019-2020)

Patients facing a serious illness must make numerous complex healthcare decisions that determine what treatment they receive, what their quality of life will be and how long they will survive. 

Launched in 2017, REGAIN is a novel collaboration between Duke Health (including the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing) and Duke University. The overarching aim of REGAIN is to develop and begin to implement a roadmap for goals of care conversations for patients with serious illnesses in Duke Health.

Led by the Duke Center for Palliative Care and supported by the health system and academic partners, REGAIN will be Duke Health’s strategy for ensuring that all patients have access to open, accurate and empathetic communication about their goals for care.

In 2019-2020, the team wrestled with a series of strategic questions designed to guide Duke Health’s efforts to improve communication for all patients. Student team members worked on individual mentored projects to ask what good communication looks like; what are the barriers to communication in a busy clinical setting; and whether/how advances in communication can improve health-related outcomes such as quality of life, health care utilization and survival. These questions yielded new datasets and helped students produce a dashboard to help define communication needs and healthcare utilization in Duke Health.


Summer 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Roadmaps for Health Communication (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)

Spreading HoPE: Helping Patients and Families Access Information about Hospice through a Web-based App (poster by Mihir Patel, Debra Davis, Fred Friedman, Jon Nicolla, Vicki Quintana, Michala Ritz, Margaret Salinger, Arif Kamal; runner up, Bass Connections 2020 poster competition)

Attachment Style, Partner Communication and Physical Well-being among Couples Coping with Cancer (poster by Gabby Braun, Katherine Ramos, Laura Porter)

How Hope Influences Health Care Provider – Parent Communication for Infants with Complex Congenital Heart Conditions (poster by Arthi Kozhumam, Amie Koch, Tara Albrecht, Heeyeon Son, Sharron Docherty)

This Team in the News

DUSON Faculty, Students Participate in Bass Connections Showcase

Bass Connections Teams Share Research Highlights in a Virtual Showcase

See related team, REGAIN: Roadmap for Evaluating Goals in Advanced Illness Navigation (2020-2021).


Image by Truthseeker08, CC0 Creative Commons

Image by Truthseeker08.

Team Leaders

  • Jessica Beliveau, School of Medicine-Medicine: General Internal Medicine
  • David Casarett, School of Medicine-Medicine: General Internal Medicine
  • Sharron Docherty, School of Nursing
  • Karen Steinhauser, School of Medicine-Population Health Sciences

/graduate Team Members

  • Johnna Wellesley, Theological Studies-MTS, Theology, Medicine and Culture
  • Dalton Hughes, Neurobiology-PHD
  • Ashlee Hutcheson, Adult-Gerontology NP - MSN

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Arthi Kozhumam, Biology (BS)
  • Adam Ushpol, Robertson Scholarship - UNC
  • Mihir Patel, Biology (BS)
  • Heesu Park, Biology (BS)
  • Natalie Ezem, Sociology (AB)
  • Gabriella Braun, Psychology (BS)
  • Simran Bansal, Program II (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Arif Kamal, School of Medicine-Medicine: Medical Oncology
  • Amie Koch, School of Nursing
  • Tara Albrecht, School of Nursing
  • Thomas Leblanc, School of Medicine-Medicine: Hematology
  • Monica Lemmon, School of Medicine-Pediatrics: Neurology
  • Collin Mueller, Arts & Sciences-Sociology
  • Christopher Cox, School of Medicine-Medicine: Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
  • Laura Porter, School of Medicine-Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Katherine Ramos, School of Medicine-Psychiatry: Behavioral Medicine