Verna Hendricks-Ferguson, PhD RN FPCN FAANIrene Riddle Endowed Chair & Professor (pediatric palliative care research focus)

Dr. Verna Hendricks-Ferguson is the Irene Riddle Endowed Chair at the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University, School of Nursing. She obtained a PhD degree in nursing from Rush University and completed a 3-year NIH funded T32 Post-doctoral Fellowship at Indiana University, School of Nursing.

Her research has been focused on: (a) bereaved parents: concerns about symptoms experienced by a child with cancer during hospice care and preferences to receive early PC/EOL information; (b) evaluating pediatric oncology nurses’ perspectives about PC/EOL communication with parents of children with cancer; (c) testing a MD/RN communication intervention to provide early PC/EOL information to parents of children with cancer with a poor prognosis. Her program of research has been funded by several external sources, such as: Sigma Theta Tau, ONS, Alex Lemonade Foundation, and the NIH. Dr. Hendricks-Ferguson, 1 of 3 Multiple Principal Investigators (MPIs), received a 6-year multi-site RO1 grant from the National Cancer Institute. The primary aim of this RO1 study is to evaluate, if early end-of-life discussions at the time of diagnosis may foster earlier use of hospice support for children with poor prognosis types of cancer and decrease the need for medical interventions during EOL. Additionally, she has been honored with receiving many awards. Of special note is that she received the Innaugeral issued 'Distinguished Nurse Scientist' award by the Midwest Nursing Research Society's PC/EOL Research Interest Group and she has received two writing awards by JPON.