Since 2000, the percentage of hospitals (with 50 or more beds) with a palliative care program has more than tripled, from 25% to more than 83%. Additionally, palliative care has expanded beyond the hospital into community settings such as long-term care facilities, nursing homes, office practices, and patient homes.

This expansion and growth has been fueled by the Center to Advance Palliative Care’s (CAPC) Palliative Care Leadership Centers (PCLC), first launched in 2003 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Under the initiative, health care teams were invited to work with one of six palliative care centers of excellence to receive hands-on training and strategic planning guidance, along with a full year of mentoring, to fast-track their own hospital-based programs. The program has been strategically expanded over the years to address critical gaps in access to palliative care, including for pediatric patients and in the southern United States. In 2015, the program added three new centers engaged in delivering palliative care services in the community setting. Each PCLC was selected through a highly-competitive process that focused on clinical excellence, outstanding leadership, reputation, and experience.

CAPC’s Palliative Care Leadership Centers’ social entrepreneurship model is the key to the diffusion of innovation in health care. PCLC training reduces the opportunity costs for palliative care program startup and delivery. It also standardizes best practices for all areas of program development and growth, including business and financial planning, clinical and staffing models, measurement, and staffing. Over the past 20 years, more than 1,300 palliative care teams have trained with a PCLC. And, 80% of them went on to institute palliative care services within two years.

Today, there are eight Palliative Care Leadership Centers, including:

  • Bluegrass Care Navigators, Lexington, KY
  • Mount Carmel Health System, Columbus, OH
  • Northwell Health, Manhasset, NY
  • Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Albuquerque, NM
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center, Birmingham, AL
  • University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA
  • University of Virginia Health System (UVA), Charlottesville, VA
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center, Richmond, VA

"As the demand for palliative care services has increased exponentially, it remains vitally important that we continue to build and expand successful, sustainable palliative care programs. We are proud that Palliative Care Leadership Centers have played a crucial role in providing a necessary foundation of practical knowledge and coaching for new and growing palliative care teams for more than two decades," said Brynn Bowman, chief executive officer at CAPC.

For more information on the Palliative Care Leadership Centers, or to arrange an interview, contact John Zoccola at [email protected] or 267-664-2759.


About the Palliative Care Leadership Centers and the Center to Advance Palliative Care

The Palliative Care Leadership Centers (PCLC) are a program of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). They use proven training methods, coupled with the unique experience that each PCLC offers, to provide customized training and mentoring for palliative care programs of every setting, size, and stage. CAPC is a national organization dedicated to increasing the availability of quality, equitable health care for people living with a serious illness. As the nation’s leading resource in its field, CAPC provides health care professionals and organizations with the training, tools, and technical assistance necessary to effectively meet this need. To learn more about the PCLC program, or to apply, visit

Get the latest updates in your inbox!