Cancer Complex Care Conversations

This version of the Complex Care program was specifically designed for Cancer Care. 

This Complex Care program site is for Oncology providers and others engaged in work with cancer survivors. If you are not providing care to cancer survivors, please visit our other Complex Care registration site. This series is offered free of charge to those involved in cancer care provision thanks to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, with funding provided by the CDC.*

 If you have any questions contact Paula Eissmann  | 401.443.5702 | 

Who Should Attend?

Who Should Attend? Practice teams including physicians, nurses,care managers, PAs, MAs, social workers, and other care team members, as well as spiritualcare providers, support group facilitators,home care providers, and others engaged in the care and support of cancer patients.

Dates: (Click on the date of the session you wish to attend below to register.) 

Program Overview

Complex Care Conversations in Oncology is an interactive curriculum designed for small groups to increase clinician and care team ease and effectiveness in approaching goals of care conversations with patients dealing with serious cancer diagnoses. This program offers guidance and practice in how to approach this frequently sensitive subject so that important discussions are not delayed or postponed. The sessions, offered multiple times over the funded period, offer a frameworkfor navigating these conversations that elicits patient wishes, values and preferences in a way that is mutually transformative for clinicians and patients. Sessions on surrogate decision makers and prognostication are also included. These sessions may also be informative for clergy, support groupfacilitators, social workers, or non-clinicians who work with cancer patients to create a climate for healing.


This program is funded by Cooperative Agreement Number NU58DP006291, funded by the Centers for Diease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Service or the Rhode Island Department of Health. There is no fee to attend but registration is required and participating providers will be asked to provide data. Attendees looking to acquire CME/CEU's must be licensed in the state of Rhode Island. Due to the interactive nature of this program attendance is limited. 

Please notify the Brown CME Office at least 3 days prior to your session if you are unable to attend. Due to the interactive nature of this program, attendance is limited and there is a waiting list of interested individuals. 

Learning Objective

The overall objective is to give clinicians key tools for effective communication, and learn skills of balancing patients’ values with the medical reality when recommendations are given to patients and families. Providers will learn how to properly bill and code for these reimbursable activities. In addition, participants will receive education on bedside ethics when faced with surrogate decision makers, as well as prognostication that will help them guide patients and families in effective ways as patients approach the end of their life. Lastly, participants will learn techniques to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue in caring for very complex and fragile patients, creating a climate of healing for all involved.

Planning Committee

Christine Ann Nevins-Herbert, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Medical Director 
Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island

Jennifer M. Ritzau, MD
Complex Care Conversations Program Director, 
Medical Director/Director of Palliative Care 
Hope Hospice and Palliative Care Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island

C. Kelly Smith, MSW
Program Manager, Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
Rhode Island Department of Health, Providence, RI

Mercedes Pacheco, MD
Medical Director, Hope Hospice and Palliative Care Rhode Island 
Providence, Rhode Island

Tammy Bhang DNP, ARNP, ACHPN
Board Certified Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Educator 
CORE Healthcare Consulting Group, Snoqualmie, Washington

Nancy Forte, RN, BSN
VP of Care Transitions and Growth 
Hope Hospice and Palliative Care Rhode Island
Providence, RI

Juan C. Iregui MD, MA, FAAHPM
Board Certified Palliative Medicine Physician, Ethicist, Educator
CORE Healthcare Consulting Group
Snoqualmie, WA

Julia Issa
CME Coordinator 
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Maria Sullivan
Director, Office of Continuing Medical Education
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Providence, RI

CME Accreditation

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island. The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education.

Credit Designation

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University designates this live activity for a maximum of 8.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Physicians Assistants/Nurse Practitioners: 
Participants will receive a Certificates of Attendance stating this program is designated for 8.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. These credits are accepted by the AAPA and AANP.

Nurses: As an American Psychological Association approved provider CES programs are accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Every state Board of Nursing accepts ANCC approved programs except California and Iowa, however CES is also an approved Continuing Education provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, (Provider Number CEP15567) which is also accepted by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Nurses completing this program receive 7.5 CE hours of credit.

Social Workers: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES), provider #1117, is approved as a Provider for Social Work Continuing Education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. CES maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 10/5/15 through 10/5/18. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 7.5 clinical continuing education clock hours.

Register Here 

This program is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU58DP006291, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and awarded to the Rhode Island Department of Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Rhode Island Department of Health.