Research Summary

My goal is to conduct research that advances scientific knowledge about care delivery, particularly palliative and EOL care, in long-term care settings (e.g., SNFs, assisted living, home health/hospice). I have led the development and testing of Me & My Wishes--video recorded conversations with LTC residents that communicates residents’ preferences for everyday and end of life, and CONTACT (CONversaTion cAre Coaching Tool). My expertise includes mixed methods and developing interventions.


  • B.S., Physical Education - Exercise Science, Portland State University
  • PhD, Nursing, University of Utah
  • M.S. , Gerontology, University of Utah


Gail Towsley, PhD is a tenured Associate Professor at University of Utah College of Nursing. She teaches in the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program and Nursing doctoral program. Dr. Towsley received her MS in Gerontology and PhD in Nursing at University of Utah. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at Polisher Research Institute and University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. As a gerontologist and licensed nursing home administrator, Dr. Towsley’s professional goal is to conduct interdisciplinary applied aging research that advances scientific knowledge about palliative care in long term care settings and informs new approaches to enhancing communication among residents, families and staff in order to provide person-centered care. She has led the development of Me & My Wishes—resident centered video recorded conversations to communicate care preferences for today and at end of life.