SAN MARCOS, Calif. (August 28, 2020)—The California State University Shiley Institute for Palliative Care has been awarded the 2020 Compassionate Care Leadership Award for Organizations, presented this week by the Coalition of Compassionate Care of California.

The annual Leadership Awards recognize individuals and organizations that are changing how people with serious illnesses or those approaching end of life are cared for in California.

The award for organizations honors institutions whose "contributions and passion for change are transforming people's lives," said coalition CEO Judy Thomas. "We are thrilled this year to recognize the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care."

The institute's mission is to increase access to and awareness of palliative care by educating current and future health care professionals, and building community awareness and advocacy for palliative care, said Executive Director Jennifer Moore Ballentine. She accepted the award Tuesday during a ceremony at the coalition's Annual Summit, held virtually due to COVID-19.

Since 2012, the institute, headquartered at CSU San Marcos, has educated more than 20,000 clinicians, primarily through 200 online courses that equip them with the skills they need to deliver high-quality palliative care to patients and families in any setting, she said.

"I'm incredibly proud of the work my team does every day and never more so than in the past several months, not only pivoting with agility to remote work, but standing up seven new courses, keeping half-a-dozen more running smoothly, and managing overwhelming demand for 21 courses we offered for free between March and June," said Ballentine.

"Before, throughout, and after the current crisis, our goal is to develop a workforce of skilled, compassionate clinicians who care for those who are seriously ill and those who love them, and in the process, transform healthcare in California, the United States, and the world," she said.

Palliative care is specialized whole-person care designed to manage the physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms of serious illness and help patients and families get care that reflects their own health care wishes.

This week the coalition also recognized Jeanine Ellinwood, MD, of Snowline Hospice in Diamond Springs, CA, with the 2020 Compassionate Care Leadership Award for Individuals, and Joan Fisher, MD, of George Mark Children's House in San Leandro, CA, with the 2020 Pediatric Palliative Care Leadership Award.

For more information on the institute, visit