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Palliative care education
George Washington University and the Institute for Spirituality & Health (GWISH)
Spiritual care education

The Kanarek Family Foundation (KFF) subsidized the
development and implementation of a pediatric
Train-the-Trainer interprofessional spiritual care education
curriculum (ISPEC-pediatric) in palliative care. This is the
first spiritual support training program for healthcare
providers caring for seriously ill children.


KFF is a leader in this initiative and provides valuable input and research into the family’s perspective of spiritual distress in a child. The program was officially launched in January 2022 with the help of ISPEC founders Christina Puchalski, MD (George Washington University) and Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD (City of Hope, Duarte, CA). 

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 

The Kanarek Family Foundation (KFF) underwrote the creation of an advanced communication module for nurse practitioners caring for pediatric patients and their families at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)
in New York City. Their renowned COMSKIL training program prepared physicians, surgeons and fellows on how
to navigate through difficult health communication scenarios with their cancer patients through educational modules and simulation. The Kanareks recognized that advanced nurse practitioners in a pediatric setting required similar training. KFF provided the funding to create a unique and innovative program as a result of their own personal experience losing their son to cancer.

As reprinted from the MSKCC website 

David’s Legacy

The death of one courageous young man, and the vision and generosity of his parents, are making a difference for pediatric cancer patients at the end of life, as well as for their families.

For the Kanarek family, life changed forever on an otherwise ordinary evening right before dinner when 10-year-old David, playing in the kitchen with his younger sister, Sarah, suddenly fell, saying that his legs had “buckled.” By the end of that week, he was unable to walk.

Fairfield University

Egan School of Nursing

The Kanarek Family Foundation (KFF) has supported
work at Fairfield’s Egan School of Nursing for many
years. KFF was a lead contributor to its Nursing Learning
Resource Center, an advanced simulation lab, and
underwrote both the integration of pediatric and
adolescent palliative care into the nursing curriculum, as well as the revision of the MSN program to a Master’s
of Science degree in Nursing Leadership, an advanced education nurse generalist degree.

Kanarek Center for Palliative Care

Most significantly, KFF enabled the creation of the
Kanarek Center for Palliative Care (KCPC) at Fairfield
University. The KCPC offers a comprehensive, integrated
curriculum for educate students and nursing professionals,
providing them with the tools necessary to facilitate high
quality, evidence-based, quality-of-life focused services
for patients and families facing a serious illness.

Egan School of Nursing
Fairfield University Egan School of Nursing
Kanarek Center for Palliative Care
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