Kathie Supiano 2021
  • Director, Caring Connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program, College Of Nursing
  • Associate Professor, College Of Nursing

Research Summary

Developing, implementing and evaluating training of clinicians to address the Grief of Overdose Death, the Grief of Suicide Death and the Grief of COVID-19 death. (State of Utah Department of Health and Human Services). Evaluating a prevention model for dementia caregivers at risk for Prolonged Grief (formerly referred to as complicated grief), funded by the Alzheimer's Association.


  • PhD , Social Work, University of Utah. Project: Complicated Grief in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Complicated Grief Group Therapy
  • Master of Science, Child & Family Studies-Human Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Project: Thesis: The effect of pre-admission counseling on nursing home placement in the elderly.
  • Master of Science, Counseling & Guidance, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Certification in Gerontology, Faye McBeath Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison


I am an Associate Professor and the Director of Caring Connections:  A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program, the bereavement care program of the University of Utah serving the intermountain west.  I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a BS in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Child and Family Studies (Human Development) and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance. I earned my PhD from  the University of Utah College of Social Work in 2012.

I am a PhD-prepared licensed clinical social worker and have been a practicing psychotherapist in geriatrics, palliative care and grief therapy for over 40 years.  My clinical practice includes care of older adults with depression and multiple chronic health concerns, end-of-life care, and bereavement care.  In addition to counseling, I have worked in the areas of elder abuse and neglect, geriatric care management, nursing home advocacy and smoking cessation.  I am a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America, a Fellow of Thanatology-Association of Death Education and Counseling, and a member of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network Board of Directors.

Prior to joining the faculty in 2007, I served as social worker to the University of Utah Hospital Palliative Care team.  Before coming to Utah, I was a clinical social work manager at Turner Geriatric Clinic-University of Michigan Health Center, and have also worked in the mental health system and in long-term care.