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

Current Courses

Spring 2019

  • GERON 5390-090
    Mgt: Clinical Issues
  • GERON 6390-090
    Mgt: Clinical Issues
  • GERON 6564-001
    EndLife Palliative Care
  • GERON 6975-096
    Masters Project
  • GERON 6980-007
    Faculty Consultation
  • NURS 6390-090
    Care Management
  • NURS 6564-001
    EndLife Palliative Care
  • PEPEC 539-090
    Mgt: Clinical Issues
  • PEPEC 656-001
    EndLife Palliative Care
  • PHARM 7560-001
    Palliative Care Course
  • SW 6622-001
    End of Life / Palliative Care

Fall 2018

Summer 2018

Professional Organizations

  • Gerontological Society of America-Social Research, Policy and Practice. 09/1975 - present. Position : Fellow.
  • Association for Death Education & Counseling. 09/2010 - present. Position : Fellow of Thanatology.
  • Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network. 01/2011 - present. Position : Founding Member.
  • National Association of Social Workers. 01/2005 - present. Position : Associate.
  • American Association of Suicidology. 01/2015 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Geriatrics Society. 10/2015 - present. Position : Member.
  • Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work. 01/2012 - present. Position : Member.
  • Utah Geriatrics Society. 01/2008 - present. Position : Member.
  • University of Utah Center on Aging. 01/2006 - present. Position : Faculty Member.
  • Utah Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. 01/2007 - present. Position : Member.
  • Utah Aging Alliance. 01/2006 - present. Position : Member.

Practice History

  • As a member of the College of Nursing Faculty Group Practice in Mental Health, I see clients in individual counseling, and in group psychotherapy. My treatment focus is complicated grief, loss and trauma and depression. Credentialed provider. 07/2007 - present .

Teaching Philosophy

Philosophy of Teaching Statement


"There are three principles of clinical teaching-think out loud,

stick to the basics, and be kind." Daniel Federman


As an instructor responsible for clinical education in both classroom and practice settings, it is my goal to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills, and the maturation of personal attitudes and professional values in my students.  Due in large measure to my observations of master educators, as well as in response to student input and in my own professional experience, I have become committed to a learner-centered teaching model that empowers students and encourages personal responsibility for learning.  Learner-centered teaching draws on the previous clinical practice of students, while honoring their lived experience, challenging them to extend their understanding and appropriately use their selves and life experiences as they address the care needs of patients/clients.  An essential element of this approach is fostering critical thinking skills.  By valuing and modeling critical thinking, I equip students to become both capable and compassionate; capably discerning of the research and practice literature, and compassionate as they wrestle with the ethical and practical dimensions of health care.


It is my goal to create a learning atmosphere that is experiential and transformative.  I expect students to come to class prepared by pre-class reading, and to be personally and professionally engaged in the context of the course content.  To that end, I join them in “thinking out loud”; primary concepts are reviewed theoretically, as represented in evidence-based literature, and in clinical case scenarios.  This approach requires the use of self on my part, and I am attentive to my role as clinician-scientist.  In this capacity, I encourage creativity and reflection in students, teaching in a setting described by Whitehead (1929a) as a place where “ideas are being tested and thrown into fresh combinations.”


I use teaching methods to maximize experiential learning including, progressive case discussion, application of skills in role-play and team-collaborative projects, personal reflection and group dialogue, as well as a judicious use of technology such as video cases and threaded discussion.  In my teaching, I “stick to the basics” by incorporating both essential core content and discipline specific content using ‘case exemplars’ to enrich clinical judgment, achieve competencies and deepen the essential values of compassion, integrity and respect for patients/clients in my students.


Creating the transformative learning experience requires careful attention to the teacher-student partnership.  I believe the most effective clinical education is relational, and the teacher- as-role-model is essential in the transmission of knowledge, skills and values.  As a teacher, I must be available, self-reflective, meticulous in my currency with the literature, aware of my personal limits and comfortable within my scope of practice.  Moreover, as a teacher of social workers and other health professionals, I must, as Federman recommends, “be kind”.  My teaching content is in gerontology, thanatology and end-of-life care--content areas with loss and suffering as prominent themes.  As an educator, I am responsible for both content and process of learning, and must be respectful of the loss history, life experiences and values of my students, providing emotional guidance as well as information and knowledge.  I am privileged to teach students in health professions outside of the social work discipline and take this opportunity as ambassador of the profession seriously, as I am often the first social worker my non-social work students are exposed to.  I am particularly honored to teach graduate social work students, and strive to equip them to be life-long learners committed to exemplary clinical care of suffering persons.

Courses I Teach

  • GERON/NURS 6390 - Geriatric Care Management I: Clinical Issues
    Clinical Issues provides an introduction and overview of the geriatric care management role in the context of interdisciplinary care. Building on the content in the prerequisite courses, Geriatric Care Management I: Clinical Issues presents the domains of care management: professionalism, comprehensive assessment, cooperation, coordination, and interdisciplinary collaboration, managing care for the end-of-life, comprehensive assessment of the client, family and support systems, and establishing, implementing monitoring, evaluating and documenting the plan of care.
  • PCTH 7434/SW 6622/Nurs 6564/ GERON 6564 - Interdisciplinary Approaches-EOL/Palliative Care
    An interdisciplinary course for students in Social Work, Nursing, Pharmacy & Gerontology addressing clinical evidence-based palliative care.

Pedagogical Publications

  • Farrell, T.W., Luptak, M., Supiano, K. P., Pacala, J., De Lisser, R. (in press). White Paper: Meeting the Challenges of Aging, Dementia, and Mental Health with Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Practice - A Call for Renewed Geriatrics Leadership. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Paper accepted, 12/22/2017.
  • Lin, J., Supiano, K. P., Madden, C. & McLeskey, N. (in press). The Impact of the End of Life Nurse Education Consortium (ELNEC) on attitudes of undergraduate nursing students toward care of dying patients. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. Paper accepted, 11/30/2017.
  • Farrell, T. W., Supiano, K. P., Wong, B., Luptak, M. K., Luther, B., Andersen T., Wilson, R., Wilby, F. Yang, R. Pepper, G. A. & Brunker, C. P. (2017). Individual versus team performance among health professions trainees in formulating care transitions plans: implications for interprofessional education and team process. Journal of Interprofessional Care. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2017.1405919 [Epub ahead of print]. Paper published, 09/01/2017.
  • Blacker, S., Jones, B. L., Head, B., Remke, S., and Supiano, K. P. (2016). Advancing hospice and palliative care social work leadership in interprofessional education. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care. 12, (4), 316-330. doi: 10.1080/15524256.2016.124777 . Paper published, 10/2016.
  • Clayton, M. F., Supiano, K. P., Wilson, R. D., Lassche, M., Latendresse, G. (2016). Using simulation in nursing PhD education: facilitating application of responsible conduct of research principles. Journal of Professional Nursing. 33, (1), 68-73. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2016.05.010. Paper published, 06/2016.
  • Montagnini, M., Clark, P.G., Dodd, M.A., Goodwin, C., Kaiser, R. M., Periyakoil, V. S., Ramsel, D., Sanchez-Reilly, S. E., Semla, T. P., Smith, H., Supiano, K., Tsukuda, R. A., & Zeiss, A. (2014). Position Statement on Interdisciplinary Team Training in Geriatrics: An Essential Component of Quality Healthcare for Older Adults. Paper published, 05/2014.
  • Supiano, K. P. & Berry, P. H. (2013). Developing interdisciplinary skills and professional confidence in palliative care social work students. Journal of Social Work Education, 49 (3), 387-396. Paper published, 01/2013.
  • Supiano, K. P. (2013). Weaving interdisciplinary and discipline-specific content into palliative care education: One successful model for teaching end-of-life care. Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying, 67 (1, 2), 201-206. Paper published, 01/2013.
  • Supiano, K. P. (2012). Personal loss in health professions graduate students: Implications for clinical education in bereavement. Bereavement Care Journal, 31 (3), 104-108. Paper published, 01/2012.
  • Supiano, K. P. & Vaughn-Cole, B. (2011). The impact of personal loss on the experience of health professions: Graduate students in end-of-Life and bereavement care. Death Studies, 35 (1), 73-89, doi: 10.1080/07481187.2010.507321. Paper published, 01/2011.

Teaching Projects

  • Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program Master's Project and Master's Practicum courses. Project Lead: Kara Dassel. Collaborators: Kathie Supiano, Brenda Luther 7 TLT team. Teaching and Learning Technologies Grant 07/2015 - 12/2015.

Student Projects

  • Distance-technology Delivered Grief Support Program: Perceived Quality and Satisfaction of Training Provided to Hospice Social Workers. Daniela MCCroby. 09/01/2017 - 05/11/2018
  • Asking the Right Questions Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Christina Triptow. 09/01/2015 - 07/01/2016

Other Profile Data

Academy of Health Science Educators-University of Utah Fellow 2014

Highter Education Teaching Specialist Certification-University of Utah 2011

Current Students

  • Katarina F. Felsted, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Project Type: Dissertation.
  • Djin Lai, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Project Type: Dissertation. Role: Member.
  • Rebekah Perkins, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Project Type: Dissertation. Role: Chair.
  • Cynthia Beynon, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.),
  • Sara Bybee, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Project Type: Dissertation.
  • Daniela McCroby, Other, Project Type: Other.

Former Students

  • Alijana Kahrman, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Chair.
  • Joan Carpenter, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Project Type: Dissertation. Role: Member.
  • Nancy McGee, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Chair.
  • Yumei Li, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Sarah Scott, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Chair.
  • Galina Polei, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Pooi Cheong, Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Frederic Mugiraneza, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Sandra Jense, Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Caroline Keeny, Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.
  • Troy Andersen, Master of Arts (M.A.), Role: Member.
  • Sara Wilson, Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Project Type: Project.
  • Anna Day, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Member.