Karen Kavanaugh, RN, PhD, FAAN
Department of Women, Children and Family Health Science
UIC College of Nursing
845 South Damen Avenue (MC 802)
Chicago, IL 60612-7350
Research / Discovery
Dr. Kavanaugh's program of research focuses on palliative and end-of-life care for newborns and their families. She currently leads an interdisciplinary team of investigators to examine parent’s decision support needs surrounding life support decisions for extremely premature infants. Findings from this study will inform subsequent research to test an intervention to improve care to parents during this vulnerable time.
Dr. Kavanaugh serves as Co-Director for the NIH funded Center for End-of-Life Transition Research and Director for the Mixed Methods Research Core. As co-director, she directs all activities within that core which include development of a number of resources for Center investigators and also individual consultation on issues related to methods for Center investigators.
Teaching / Learning
Dr. Kavanaugh led the development of an Internet-based course on Dying, Loss, and Grief. She regularly teaches content on qualitative methods, theory development, and other topics related to palliative and end-of-life care for newborns. In 2001, Dr. Kavanaugh received the Graduate Faculty Excellence Award and was also selected as the visiting scholar at the National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan.
Service / Practice
Dr. Kavanaugh has been involved in many regional and national activities related to pediatric palliative and end-of-life. These activities include participation as a faculty scholar at the Program in Palliative Care and Education sponsored by Harvard Medical School, Board Member for the Alliance of Perinatal Bereavement Facilitators, guest editor for several special topics issues in nursing journals, and contributing author for a number of book chapters and position statements, including the first interdisciplinary textbook on pediatric palliative care. In 2006, she received the March of Dimes Annual Jonas Salk Leadership Award in Nursing. This award recognizes individuals or groups for exceptional leadership and contributions toward improving infant and maternal health. Dr. Kavanaugh is also an editorial board member and manuscript reviewer for many journals including Pediatrics and Qualitative Health Research.
Click here for PDF (02/2011)
Current Research Projects: