Also part of the UPMC family:
Also part of the UPMC family:

The People of the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute

Our doctors and nurses, psychologists, social workers, and clergy members work together to serve the needs of serious ill patients and their families. Individually, our knowledge can relieve different aspects of their concerns. Together, we can care for their physical and emotional needs at every stage of illness or injury. Learn more about the clinicians and staff at the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Meet the Staff


Robert M. Arnold, MD

Medical Director, UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute
Director, Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication

Education and Career Highlights

  • Medical degree, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Residency, Rhode Island Hospital
  • Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's Division of General Internal Medicine and Center for Bioethics and Health Law
  • Named the first Leo H. Creip Chair of Patient Care in 2000, which emphasizes the importance of the doctor-patient relationship especially at the end of life
  • Named Distinguished Service Professor

Membership Organizations

  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • American Society of Bioethics and Humanities

Research and Interest Areas

  • Research focus on educational interventions to improve communication in life-limiting illnesses and better understanding how ethical precepts are operationalized in clinical practice
  • Working with the UPMC Health System to develop systemwide, integrative palliative services throughout the health system
  • End-of-life care, hospice and palliative care, doctor-patient communication, and ethics education

Kimberly L. Gottschalk, MBA

Director of Inpatient- and Outpatient- Based Palliative Care
UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute

Education and Career Highlights

  • Bachelors of Science, University of Pittsburgh
  • Master of Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh
  • Served as Administrative Director for the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Managed administrative responsibilities of the UPMC Supportive and Palliative Care inpatient and outpatient consult services for the Oakland and Shadyside hospitals
  • Oversaw the academic and research activities for faculty
  • Extensive experience in medical specialty practice management
  • Prior appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in dental hygiene

Memberships and Organizations

  • Center for Advance Palliative Care

Janet Leahy, MSN

Supervisor, Advanced Practice Providers
Hospital and Outpatient Based Palliative Care Services

Education and Career Highlights

  • Masters of Science, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh
  • Bachelors of Science, Nursing, Waynesburg University
  • Diploma of Nursing, St. Francis School of Nursing
  • Board certified : Advanced Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (ACHPN)

Memberships and Organizations

  • Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

Interest Areas

  • Providing education to improve clinician’s communication skills in difficult conversations
  • Quality Improvement—Standardization of CPR Status Discussions/Documentation

Susan Saxon, CRNP

Director of Community and Home Based Palliative Care
UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute

Education and Career Highlights

  • Bachelors of Science, Nursing, Duquesne University
  • Masters of Science, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh
  • Family Nurse Practitioner, Post Master's Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Memberships and Organizations

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
  • Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners

Interest Areas

  • New models of care for community and home based palliative care
  • Geriatric palliative care
  • Promoting advanced practice nursing at the local, state, and federal levels

Richard L. Weinberg, MD

Associate Medical Director for Community Palliative Care
UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, and Magee-Womens Hospital

Education and Career Highlights

  • Medical degree, University of Michigan
  • Residency, Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis
  • Clinical associate professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Division of General Internal Medicine – Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics
  • Served as faculty for the National Institutes of Health - Capital Caring Palliative Medicine fellowship

Interest Areas

  • Quality improvement
  • Application of behavioral medicine to end-of-life care.

Jennifer Pruskowski, PharmD, BCPS, CGP

Palliative Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Education and Career Highlights

  • Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics
  • PharmD Degree, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • Pharmacy Practice and Geriatric Pharmacy Residency, William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Interprofessional Palliative Care Fellowship, James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, New York
  • Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist
  • Certified Geriatric Pharmacist

Membership Organizations

  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)
  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)

Research and Interest Areas

  • Education of effective and safe use of medication for palliative care patients
  • Development of Institute-wide, evidence-based pain and symptom management treatment algorithms
  • Management of delirium at the end of life, and refractory pain
  • Role of pharmacists on the improvement of health-related functions and quality of life for palliative


Megan Glance, MPH

Systems Analyst, Donald D. Wolff, Jr. Center for Quality, Safety, & Innovation

Education and Career Highlights

  • Master's degree, University of Pittsburgh
  • Certificate in Evaluation of Public Health Promotion and Health Education programs, University of Pittsburgh
  • Oversees program evaluation, data collection, and data reporting efforts for the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute
  • Supports program development and evaluation for the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh

Phillip K. Rogers, BS

Director, UPMC Community Provider Services Division

Education and Career Highlights

  • Bachelor's degree, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Responsible for the IT support for a broad range of post-acute businesses
  • Leads a team of IT professionals that supply a full array of services, including third party vendor application support, custom development, local and wide area networking, telephone systems, and hardware (desktop and server) support

Colleen Kosky, BA

Senior Administrative Assistant
UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute

Education and Career Highlights

  • Bachelor’s degree, University of Pittsburgh
  • Has several years of administrative and communications experience in nonprofit and academic settings
  • Supports the institute's overall mission to improve patient quality of life

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