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Why Study Hospice and Palliative Studies Cert at Madonna University?

  • This certificate provides specialized training for students with a strong foundation regarding the core concepts and philosophy of interdisciplinary hospice and palliative care that nicely compliments existing graduate degrees in health and human services.
  • It will help you, your family and friends understand more about this natural process and have the “difficult conversations” before a time of crises.
  • Completion of this Certificate can count toward graduate degree completion if a student decides to keep going. MSHP graduate faculty teach interdisciplinary, cutting edge content with specialties in integrative medicine, clinical grief counseling/family therapy, nursing home administration, hospice and palliative care nursing, and management, facilitating a learning environment where students bring unique life experiences that enhance classroom discussion among like-minded classmates.
  • MU is centrally located in the midst of a wide range of hospice/EOL care settings where internship and employment opportunities abound in SE Michigan.

The Master of Science in Hospice and Palliative Studies (MSHP) degree or certificate prepares individuals to serve diverse client populations during the terminal phase of life, to perform effectively as members of an interdisciplinary team whose goal is to enhance the quality of life by focusing on the physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the hospice patient and family, and to become leaders in the hospice movement by their expertise in their chosen cognate area and research/capstone projects.

Graduate students are exposed to the hospice philosophy from its very inception through current day trends and practices, synthesizing past hospice history and analyzing hospice models of care that support palliative, interdisciplinary interventions in an advanced hospice practice across disciplines.

Also an option for those interested in certificates is the specialty certificate in trauma, loss and grief that provides cutting edge content including hands on practice using integrative treatment modalities in bereavement counseling and spiritual interventions in advanced hospice practice and related health care and clinical settings.

Faculty and students recognize that it is a privilege to be part of a hospice team, in service to patients and their families as they discover opportunities in relationships at the end of a life. The course of study then, for the hospice student body, often becomes a spiritual quest and an individual, personal journey with the aim of discovering the transcendent in everyday life and in all human relations. Madonna University continues to provide this sacred teaching and learning environment where discussion about end of life care is supported and fully embraced.

Careers Grad School Employers of Alumni
Bereavement Specialist Madonna University (Pastoral; Hospice; Social Work) Angela Hospice and Home Care
Volunteer Services Manager Wayne State University Arbor Hospice and Homecare
Hospice Nurse

East Tennessee University

Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care
Palliative Nurse Practitioner University of Minnesota Sand Castles Grief Support
Hospice CAN South University Henry Ford Hospices
Spiritual Care/Chaplain   Funeral Homes/After Care Support
Social Worker   Hospital Palliative Care Programs
Education Liaison or Patient/Family Liaison   Residential Hospice and Palliative Care
University Professor   Compassionate Care Hospice
Ge Gao

Ge Gao "Melody" '13 is pursuing doctoral study at The Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota where she has been researching cancer prevention and treatment. “We focus on determining the basic molecular mechanisms of cancer development, and then use our findings for developing nontoxic, natural compounds that can be used to prevent, control or cure cancer.”

While completing her Master’s in Hospice and Palliative Studies at Madonna University, Melody’s research focused on “music thanatology” which means utilization of music an aspect of comfort care for hospice patients, families, and staff. “Although my current study focuses on discovering anti-cancer agents, the basic goal is also helping patients to relieve the pain, and provide a better life for them. Nevertheless, if I had not studied hospice and palliative care, I may have only cared about how a new chemical works, or how effective it is in the cure for cancer. Now, I consider the bigger picture at a deeper level, i.e., how to avoid side effects of the chemicals, and what is the best way for individuals to take the therapy. Interestingly, when we hold discussions now in our lab meetings, the most frequent words from me have become, “If I were a patient….”

Upon completion of her Ph.D., and return to her home country, China, Melody plans to continue her hospice and palliative career focus through employment as a University professor within medical school. “I will help my students understand hospice and palliative care in the way I truly understand it, and as I now say, “how I fell in love” with this philosophy. I constantly promote this idea to family, friends, and… more and more people around me, as a way to promote this concept that is not fully embraced yet in the traditional Chinese culture. I think it’s a good beginning.”

Melody would like to begin a new curriculum related to hospice and palliative care, and integrative medicine, believing that dying and grief are universal experiences that need more education, counseling, and grief support across cultures. “Several years ago, I knew very little about hospice and palliative care. I chose this major just because I have a medical background and I thought it would lead to more career opportunities in China” (where hospice care is not always understood and practiced).

Kent Aughe

Kent Aughe '08
Where are you working now?
Chaplain, retired from Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, Senior-living and Health Care Communities Chaplain and Minister to seniors, Huntington Woods Lutheran Church, Huntington Woods, MI

How has your hospice degree helped you in your current work or related service role?
The interdisciplinary graduate certificate in Hospice and Palliative exposed me to some basic medical information (for us who are not medical professionals) that helped me assist and advocate for clients and family members who are navigating what is often a confusing health care system. I also took courses within the Pastoral/Spiritual Care Cognate that equips students to consider their own theology and philosophy of care, and better assisted me to counsel with clients and families to explore their own spirituality at the end of life.

The Certificate in Bereavement provided in-depth course work about classic and current grief theories and their application. This experience provided the tools for knowing about grief assessment and referral, program development for hospice bereavement programs, and very simply companioning others in their grief journey.

In thinking about your time at Madonna University, what are the highlights? What stands out for you? What did you like about being a student at Madonna?
Madonna professors and staff care about students and are always available for guidance. Small class size fosters one-to-one relationships with instructors and with other students. Course work is challenging and rewarding and is practical to real life-situations. The respectful, encouraging environment creates enthusiasm to grow both academically and professionally, all designed to serve clients and their families.