In 2003 the MGH Institute became the first school in the country to initiate Kenneth B. Schwartz Center Educational Rounds, a multidisciplinary forum where the next generation of caregivers discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients.

The Kenneth B. Schwartz Center promotes pioneering programs to educate, train and support caregivers in the art of compassionate care. The Center was created in 1995 by health care attorney Kenneth Schwartz shortly before he died of lung cancer at the age of 40.

The educational "Rounds" format provides students, faculty, alumni, and staff with an opportunity to engage in interprofessional dialogue on important issues that advance a compassionate approach to patient care. Participants are invited to engage in self-reflections and reflective dialogue with their peers.

Past Schwartz Rounds

September 27, 2021: Balint Groups: A PA Program Approach to Maintaining Empathy During Clinical Rotations

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The first Schwartz Rounds of the 2021-2022 academic year was held Noon–12:50 p.m. in Shouse 305, and featured guest panelists Mike Boutin, EdD, assistant dean for faculty and student success in SHRS; Maraline Ferris, PA-C, MPAS ’21; Joshua Schupp-Starr, PA-C, MPAS ’21; Lisa Walker, PA-C, MPAS, program chair, Physician Assistant Studies; and Lisa Waller, PA-C, MMSc, director of clinical education, Physician Assistant Studies.

What is a Balint group?

Balint groups were originally developed to provide regular, facilitated meetings among health care providers or students to process difficult or unresolved feelings in the therapeutic physician-client relationship. Panelists provided an opportunity to observe a brief Balint group, then hear from participants and facilitators about their value and challenges, with an opportunity for questions and discussion about its potential use by other professions and interprofessional teams.


April 6, 2021: The COVID-19 Vaccine: Varying Perspectives Across Health Care Professionals

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  • Anh Lewin, DNP ‘21, MSN-FNP’12
  • Shelby Freed, MSN ‘11, DNP-candidate
  • Kristin Vander Els, ABSN student c/o 2021


February 23, 2021: What’s Changed? Adjustments to Compassionate Care Across the Health Care & Health Professions Education during a Pandemic

Panelists Suzanne Pennington, MS, CCC-SLP, and CSD alum Kate Boi, MS, CCC-SLP, reflected on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted compassionate long-term care practices.

November 16, 2020: Telepractice: Challenges and Strategies for Compassionate Caregiving Through the Screen

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September 30, 2020: Curating Compassionate Care during a Pandemic: Addressing Spirituality with Patients

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Resource List

April 15, 2020: Greeting Gratitude and Cultivating Compassion

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Resource List

February 24, 2020: Providing Trauma Informed Care

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November 11, 2019: Respectful Interactions in Practice - Managing the Tension Between Authenticity and Boundaries

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September 23, 2019: Navigating Vicarious Trauma in Our Professional and Personal Lives

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April 2, 2019: Resilience

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February 25, 2019: Health Professionals with Disabilities: A Lived Experience

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November 5, 2018: Disclosing Medical Error

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September 24, 2018: Caring for Refugees

Rawan AlHeresh, PhD facilitated.

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April 2, 2018: Advocating for Social Justice

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Professor Diane Smith, PhD, OTR/L facilitated a discussion with student speakers Emily Thatcher, MPAS ’18, and Stephanie Campbell, OTD ’18.

February 26, 2018: Caring Beyond The Box: Health for People who Identify as Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming

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Lisa Keegan, NP ‘16, spoke at the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center Educational Rounds.

LGTBQIA Terminology Resource

November 6, 2017: When the Patient is Prejudiced

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Facilitated by Brian French, Director of the Blum Patient Family Learning Center. Speakers: Manny Acheampong, PT student, and Jennifer Mackey, MA, CCC-SLP, Assistant Director of External Clinical Education.

September 25, 2017: Social Determinants of Native Health

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Facilitated by Matt Tobey MD, MPH, Associate Director, Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership Faculty Director, Crimson Care Collaborative at Nashua Street Jail Division of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Student speakers were: Sylvia Brandenberg, PA, Marguerite Conners, OT, Daniel McGuire, PA, Julia Scott, Nursing.

April 10, 2017: Navigating Hierarchy Among Health Professionals

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Reem Mohamad, MS-SLP '17, and Melania Booth, MPAS '18, spoke, facilitated by Jenny Rudolph, PhD, Executive Director of Center for Medical Simulation, Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School.

February 27, 2017: Providing Care to Transgender Patients

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Antonia Makosky, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, facilitated the discussion.

November 28, 2016: Reconciling Western and Non-Western Medicine

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Presenters included Mind Body Spirit Certificate alumnae Mandi Coakley ’16 and Jane Flanagan ’16, Laura Vinci de Vanegas, DPT ’06, and student Rebecca Outland, OTD ’18. Facilitating was OT Professor Susan Fasoli.

September 26, 2016: Overcoming Linguistic Barriers to Care

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CJ Kiskanyan, DPT '16, Maria Margardia Fonseca de Almeida Guerra, DPT '19, and Yung-En Perng, DPT '19, spoke, and Instructor Patricia Kelley-Nazzaro, MS, CCC-SLP, facilitated.

April 4, 2016: Caring For Patients with a Substance Abuse Disorder

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Students Natalie Albrittain-Ross, MS-SLP ‘16, Hannah Kobett, MPAS ‘17, and Diana Remlinger, MSN ’16, reflected on managing bias in caring for a patient with substance abuse disorder. Sarah Coughlin, LICSW, of the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition moderated.

February 29, 2016: Caring for Patients who are Obese

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Sarah Nowak, MPAS ’17, Rebecca Pham, DPT ‘16, and alumna Kenya Palmer, MSN ’13, presented, and Assistant Professor Sara Knox, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA, facilitated.

November 9, 2015: Caring for a Patient who is Homeless

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Katie Atmatzidis (OT), Ellie Wheeler (OT), and Cody Desouza (Nursing) presented, and Assistant Professor of Nursing Eileen Searle facilitated.

September 28, 2015: Caring for Patients with Mental Illness

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Students Howard Yan and Beth "B" McKee presented, and Nursing faculty Susan Stevens presented.

April 1, 2015: End of Life Care for Patients with Dementia

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Presented by third-year Master of Science in Nursing students Emily Palmer and Jonathan DeWeese. Facilitated by Associate Professor Ruth Palan Lopez, PhD, GNP-BC.

February 11, 2015: Using Technology and Music to Assist Patients and Clients with Dementia

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Presented by Doctor of Occupational Therapy students Cora Finley and Nicolette Blanc, along with Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology student Natsumi Asanuma. Facilitated by Jacques Mohr Professor of Geriatric Nursing Research Diane Mahoney, PhD, APRN, BC, FGSA, FAAN.

November 3, 2014: Supporting Families and Caregivers of Patients with Dementia

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Presented by Direct-Entry Master of Science in Nursing students Roberta Villani and Javier Rivera. Facilitated by Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation Professor Lynn Foord, PhD, MEd, PT.

September 29, 2014: Caring for Patients with Dementia: Overcoming the Stigma

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Presented by DPT students Mary Chaput and Corianne Oliver. Facilitated by School of Nursing Associate Professor Ruth Palan Lopez, PhD, GNP-BC.

April 9, 2014: Treating a High-Profile Patient While Responding to the Media

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Presented by student Dana Casparian and Clinical Assistant Professor Anne McCarthy Jacobson, DPT, MS, NCS. Facilitated by Professor Marjorie Nicholas, PhD, CCC-SLP.

February 19, 2014: Caring for the Perpetrators of Trauma

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Presented by students Leigh Pescatore and Melissa Pedraza. Facilitated by Chris Carter, PsyD.

November 25, 2013: Resilience in Caring for Victims of Mass Violence

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Presented by students Ayana Robertson and Laura Cline.

September 30, 2013: Responding to the Boston Marathon with Compassion

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Facilitated by School of Nursing Professor Inge Corless, PhD, RN, FAAN.

March 27, 2013: Bridging the Generational Gap in Health Care

Presented by Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology student Lisa Bloom, and Master of Science in Physical Therapy student Hemali Mehta, facilitated by Department of Physical Therapy Clinical Instructor Angelique Dirkes, DPT, MS.

January 30, 2013: Engaging LGBT Elders

Bob Linscott, assistant director at the Boston-based LGBT Aging project led a discussion on how emerging health care professionals can have a major impact on helping older gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender residents become more engaged with their community.

November 26, 2012: Screening and Discussion of Gen Silent

Gen Silent is the new LGBT documentary from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux that explores issues of bullying and discrimination within the health care system of older adults in the LGBT community.

A growing number of people are working to protect LGBT older adults and caregivers. Gen Silent offers hope and new models of care that are taking place here in Massachusetts. Gen Silent helps raise awareness so that our LGBT older adults can have a greater chance to live and age in safety, with dignity and respect.

February 1, 2012: Finding Compassion

Students Jencie McDavid, 2012 Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology candidate, and Lauren Greb, 2013 Master of Science in Nursing Candidate, led a discussion on how to find compassion when caring for challenging patients.

Planner/Facilitator: Patricia Reidy, DNP, FNP-BC, Clinical Associate Professor School of Nursing

October 24, 2011: "Therapeutic Use of Self: How Much is Too Much?"

Planner/Facilitator: Judith Webb, DNP, Adult and Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner-BC, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, presented effective interpersonal communications strategies and discussed some of the differences between therapeutic and social interactions.

March 30, 2011: Creating Compassionate Connections

Barbara Moscowitz, MSW, LICSW, Social Worker, Department of Social Services and Geriatric Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Jo Shapiro, MD, Chief, Division of Otolaryngology, Director, Center for Professionalism and Peer Support, Brigham and Women's Hospital, lead a discussion on creating compassionate connections with your patients.

February 2, 2011: The Therapeutic Use of Self: How Much is Too Much?

The relationship between a health care professional and patient or client is the foundation on which health care is provided. Therapeutic use of the self is the ability to use one's personality consciously and in full awareness to establish relatedness and to structure interventions for the benefit of the patient.

Facilitator Judith Webb, CNP, Adult and Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner-BC, Clinical Assistant Professor School of Nursing and presenters Sofia Vallila, MS, PhD candidate 2011, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology; Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology; MGH Institute, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Kim Sonderland, FNP Candidate 2011, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing discuss effective interpersonal communications strategies, and some of the differences between therapeutic and social interactions.

November 15, 2010: Computers and Compassion

The use of technology such as email, mobile phones, and Skype may increase access to health care and timelier diagnoses, and may expand access to ongoing education and training.

Yet, little is known about the impact of these modes of communication on the provision of compassionate care.

Participants and facilitator Carolyn Locke, Dean of Student Affairs, explored the challenges posed by providing care via virtual communication.

October 04, 2010: Overcoming "static" to really listen to your patients

Hearing is the ability of the ear to sense sounds. In contrast, active listening requires a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying, but more importantly, to understand the total message being sent.

Listening can be especially challenging for new clinicians who may be preoccupied with new skills, time constraints, and fear of saying the wrong thing.

Participants and moderator Ruth Palan Lopez, PhD, GNP-BC, Associate Professor explored the issue of listening and discuss strategies for reducing static in our own minds and in our work environments that can impede effective listening.

April 07, 2010: Compassion Fatigue: When you don't have any more to give

Compassion fatigue is defined as physical, emotional or spiritual exhaustion caused by constant outputting of compassion and caring to others without sufficient personal replenishment to feel that the world is a hopeful place.

Participants and moderator Ruth Palan Lopez, PhD, GNP-BC, Associate Professor considered whether individuals have a limitless supply of compassion. Can we prevent our compassion from running dry? How can we sustain and refill our ability to care?

February 24, 2010: Cultural Humility and Compassionate Care: Caring for patients with different cultural backgrounds

How can you be compassionate when you are challenged by a patient with a different cultural background, leading to different behavioral expectations?

Participants, moderator Calvin Hill, Chief Diversity Officer, and guest presenter Dilshad Farheen Sulaiman, PT, MS Candidate 2010, explored personally held values and beliefs about cultural differences and how they may play out in our interactions with patients.