Sarah Rossmassler has been a nurse practitioner since 2001, graduating from the MGH Institute of Health Professions and beginning her work career in primary care. Later she transitioned to Hospice and Home Care, as the palliative care field was beginning to gain its footing. She completed the Harvard Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Fellowship program in 2013 with a cohort of 12 physicians, nurse practitioners and social workers, and has been working at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA on the inpatient palliative care consultation service since 2014. She completed a DNP at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2018, and is now teaching nurse practitioner students in the Adult-Gerontology Advanced Practice Track at the MGH Institute. She is Nurse Champion on the NIH-funded clinical research trial titled ED GOAL at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston.

  • B.A. English Literature, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY (1988)
  • MSN, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA (2001)
  • Harvard Interprofessional Palliative Care Fellowship Program (2012-2013) 
  • DNP, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA (2018)

Nurse Champion, ED GOAL Advance Care Planning in the Emergency Department

A randomized controlled trial for ED GOAL on a cohort of 120 older adults with serious illness to collect patient-centered outcomes and determine preliminary efficacy on increasing advance care planning engagement (self-reported and/or in the electronic medical record) one month after leaving the emergency department. The investigators will also conduct qualitative interviews with participants of ED GOAL.

Nursing Identity in the Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Team

Dr. Rossmassler has published numerous papers - some titles are highlighted below. You can view a complete listing of Dr. Rossmassler's publications on ResearchGate or in her CV. 

Nursing Leadership and Palliative Care in Long-Term Care for Residents with Advanced Dementia. 

An emergency department nurse led intervention to facilitate serious illness conversations among seriously ill older adults: A feasibility study. 

Emergency department-based, nurse-initiated, serious illness conversation intervention for older adults: a protocol for a randomized controlled trial. 

Life, Death and... Rice and Beans. 

The Hidden Life of Trees. 


see researchgate profile 


In addition, Dr. Rossmassler regularly presents at conferences and industry events. Please see her CV for a complete list of presentations.

Deprescribing in Serious Illness: Using the Evidence and a Framework to Guide Practice at  MGH IHP Clinical Preceptor Appreciation Event.

Introducing Scenario Planning and Graphic Aids for Patients and Families Facing Difficult Medical Decisions at Baystate Medical Center Academic Half Day.

Fostering Shared Decision-Making in Frail Older Adults Facing Surgical Emergencies: Borrowing Backcasting from Sustainability Science at the MGH Palliative Care & Geriatric Medicine Grand Rounds.

Nurses’ Roles and Responsibilities in Providing Care and Support at the End of Life at the Baystate Health Nurse Residency Program.

Shared Decision-Making in the Appropriate Initiation and Withdrawal from Dialysis: Breaking it Down with Palliative Care at the Baystate Medical Center Renal Fellowship.

Contact Information

Awards and Honors

Exceptional Advanced Practice Clinician and Mentor Award, 2017

MGH Institute of Health Professions

Cooley Dickinson All-Star Award, 2013

Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Caring Moments Awards, 2011

VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson