PCLC at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Massey Cancer Center

  1. Location
    Richmond, VA
  2. Leader
  3. Faculty
    • Brian Cassel
      PhD, Palliative Care Researcher and Administrator
    • Mary Ann Hager
      MSN, Massey Cancer Center Administration
    • Danielle Noreika
      MD, Palliative Care Medical Director
  4. Photo: Brian Cassel

VCU Massey Cancer Center Services At-A-Glance

VCU is an 865-bed academic medical center providing care to a significant radius of central Virginia. Our status as both a Level 1 trauma center and a statewide safety net hospital contributes to having a diverse patient population. VCU’s palliative care service includes a palliative care unit, inpatient consultative service, and an outpatient supportive care clinic. An eleven-bed inpatient unit allows our interdisciplinary team to provide care for patients with complex symptom management needs. Our seven-days-per-week inpatient consultative service provides care for patients in all clinical spaces at VCU including acute care medicine, the Emergency Department, surgery, trauma, or any of the five adult intensive care units. Today VCU’s supportive care clinic has grown such that multiple providers treat patients five days per week in several clinical locations. We are integrated into the VCU Division of Hematology/Oncology and Palliative care and ESMO-certified in integrated oncology care. American Hospital Association Circle of Life award winner.

Key benefits of training at VCU include:

  • Observation of fully-integrated inpatient and outpatient palliative care program, which is part of VCU’s Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Palliative Care
  • Insight into interdisciplinary-team care in inpatient and outpatient settings, including in a palliative care unit with 24/7 physician/nursing staffing support
  • Access to expertise in the business side of palliative medicine--Dr. Cassel has authored over 20 articles and chapters in financial outcomes and metrics in all operational settings
  • Expertise in utilizing databases to capture and track key palliative care clinical and financial measures  
  • Access to a VCU physician who is boarded in colorectal surgery and palliative care and who is helping to promote integration of palliative care for surgery patients
  • Experience in how to develop a telemedicine program to provide remote areas with palliative consultative support
  • Multiple areas of research and QI projects including delirium, pediatric palliative care, palliative care in surgery, anorexia/cachexia, risk assessment in opioid prescribing, etc.


For questions about VCU Massey Cancer Center, including the availability of specific training dates, contact Teri Dulong-Rae at teri.dulongrae@vcuhealth.org or 804-628-0617.

For general PCLC questions, please contact Brittany Chambers at brittany.chambers@mssm.edu or call 212-824-9573.

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Manhasset, NY

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Egidio Del Fabbro
MD, Palliative Care Program Director

Egidio Del Fabbro, MD, is the palliative care endowed chair and program director at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center. Dr. Del Fabbro also serves as an associate professor of internal medicine within the division of hematology, oncology, and palliative care of the department of internal medicine at the VCU School of Medicine. Dr. Del Fabbro received his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1990. In 1998 he completed his residency in internal medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University, St. Louis. He completed a palliative care fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, in 2004, and joined the palliative care and rehabilitation department as an assistant professor there in 2005; also at MD Anderson he was director of the Cachexia Clinic from 2005 to 2011 and an associate professor from 2011 to 2012. He joined VCU in May 2012. His clinical research is focused on therapeutic interventions for symptoms in patients with cancer and opioid-related side effects. He was the principal investigator of two randomized, placebo-controlled trials for poor appetite and cancer-related fatigue in patients with advanced cancer. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts and numerous book chapters related to palliative care and symptom management, and has received funding from the American Cancer Society to explore the effect of testosterone replacement in male patients with advanced cancer. He is also editor of the textbook Nutrition and the Cancer Patient (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010) and an associate editor for the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle.

PCLC Hospital

PCLC HOSPITAL teaches you how to design a new inpatient palliative care service—or navigate growth challenges for an existing one. Training addresses the unique program design considerations of your hospital team, including:

  • Making the case for palliative care within your hospital ecosystem
  • Financing strategies for launching or growing a service
  • Program measurement that ensures quality while aligning with hospital priorities
  • Collaboration across service lines
PCLC Home & Office/Clinic

PCLC HOME & OFFICE/CLINIC is for the hospice, home health agency, hospital, or other provider organization wishing to launch strategically-designed palliative care services for patients in clinics, at home, or in long term care. Training and mentoring include:

  • Defining the scope of the program in terms of geography and patient population
  • Designing services to meet the needs of your target population
  • Developing partnerships with referrers and other community services
  • Building financial stability through strong business planning