in Action

Healthcare Conference

Save the Date
September 8-10, 2019

Join us for the Schwartz Center’s Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference! Connect with more than 500 professionals, system leaders and others who are committed to making compassionate healthcare a priority in their organizations and communities.

Engage with colleagues from across the globe and learn about cutting-edge programs, strategies and tools to create and sustain cultures of compassion. Experience immersive sessions that will leave you inspired, equipped with knowledge and skills supported by new partners.

We invite you to submit your work for presentation.



The healthcare system is rapidly changing. Pressures to increase efficiencies, improve coordination across the care spectrum and lower costs are contributing to a rising epidemic of a burned-out healthcare workforce. A lack of truly meaningful patient-family engagement, and inconsistent improvement in quality across all settings are symptoms of a system moving away from the core of what matters most for those who chose healthcare as a calling and for those who we aim to heal.

The Schwartz Center’s Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference brings together clinicians, health system leaders and others who are committed to making compassion a priority in their organizations and communities. Participants will engage with colleagues from across the globe and experience immersive sessions that will leave them inspired, equipped with knowledge and skills and supported by new partners to create and sustain cultures of compassion.


Are you interested in presenting this year? Please fill out our request for abstracts before January 1, 2019.



Built on the Compassionate Collaborative Care Framework, conference topics focus on advancing cultures of compassion, communication, interprofessional teamwork and interpersonal skills. Participants will learn to apply those techniques towards initiatives and strategies that achieve the quadruple aim of improving patient experience, population health and workforce well-being while lowering costs.

Conference Themes

  • Workforce resilience, well-being and engagement
  • Creating compassionate organizational cultures
  • Compassionate responses to social challenges
  • Communicating with patients, families and each other
  • Engaging patients, families and their communities to support health
  • Compassion science and practice


This conference focuses on organizational culture change using strategies based on empathy, effective communication, interpersonal skills and interprofessional collaboration.

This conference is ideal for:

  • Organizational leaders, directors and managers of healthcare professionals
  • Practicing healthcare professionals and ethicists
  • Patient and clinician experience officers and teams
  • Quality and safety professionals and risk managers
  • Health professional educators
  • Human resources and employee assistance program professionals
  • Spiritual care providers and chaplains
  • Professional society leadership representatives
  • Policy and public health representatives

More information about the number and type of continuing education credits offered at the conference will be available soon.


List of keynote speakers coming soon.



At Compassion in Action, participants will roll up their sleeves, dig in and engage with visionary thinkers and doers to experience and learn how healthcare organizations around the world are improving quality, lowering costs and strengthening patients’ and providers’ experience using compassionate, collaborative care. Our vision is to form a powerful community where every Compassion in Action participant plays an integral role in sharing ideas, simulating new thinking and provoking the change that will better our healthcare system.

Through interactive experiential sessions with experts from diverse care settings and communities, this innovative conference will focus on fostering compassionate leaders across all professions and roles within healthcare. Participants will leave the conference having gained inspiration, knowledge/skills and partners to improve care quality and outcomes, patient experience and workforce well-being through compassion and collaboration.

Are you interested in presenting this year? Please fill out our request for abstracts before January 1, 2019.


Sample schedule below:

More details for 2019 will be posted in the coming months.


6:30 pm


7:00 pm

Keynote Speaker

8:00 pm


8:30 pm

Morning Activity

6:30 am


8:00 am

Keynote Speaker

8:25 am

Master Panel

8:50 am

Master Panel Breakout Sessions

10:00 am


11:15 am

Compassion in Action Poster Session

Lunch and Networking

12:30 pm


1:30 pm

Fireside Chat

1:50 pm


3:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

5:00 pm

Evening Activities

6:00 pm

Morning Activity

6:40 am


7:00 am


8:00 am

Keynote Speaker

8:20 am

Case Study Presentation

8:50 am

Master Panel

9:10 am


10:20 am

Master Panel

11:30 am


12:30 pm

Master Panel Breakout Sessions

1:15 pm


2:30 pm

Concluding Remarks

3:30 pm
Planning Committee
Elisa Arespacochaga, MBA Vice President, American Hospital Association
Rana Awdish, MD Specialist in Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine, Henry Ford Health System
Agnes (Aggie) Barden, DNP, RN, CPXP Vice President, Patient & Customer Experience, Northwell Health
Maren Batalden, MD, MPH Associate Chief Quality Officer, Cambridge Health Alliance
Leah Binder President & CEO, The Leapfrog Group
Monica Bharel, MA, DPH Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Calvin Chou, MD, PhD, FACH Professor of Clinical Medicine, VP External Education, UCSF; Vice President for External Education, Academy of Communication in Healthcare
Sue Collier, DNP, RN, NEA-BC Vice President, Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer , Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital
Jocelyn Cornwell, PhD CEO and Founder, Point of Care Foundation
James R. Doty, MD Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine; Founder & Director, The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE)
Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical and Nursing Officer, O'Neil Center/ GetWellNetwork
Ronald M. Epstein, MD Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Rushika Fernandopulle, MD CEO and Co-Founder, Iora Health
Martha (Meg) Gaines, JD, LL.M Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School; Director, Center for Patient Partnerships
Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Director of Professional and Academic Development, The Cambridge Health Alliance
Sue Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN Senior Advisor for Nursing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Pat Mastors Executive Director, Patients'​ View Institute
Kathy McGuinn, MSN, RN, CPHQ, FNAP Director of Interprofessional Education and Practice Partnerships , American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
Andrew (Andy) Shin, JD, MPH Chief Operating Officer - Health Research and Educational Trust, American Hospital Association
Cynthia D. Sweeney, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC Executive Director, The DAISY Foundation
Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN President & CEO, American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
Monica Worline, PhD Founder & CEO, EnlivenWork
Charlotte Yeh, MD Chief Medical Officer, AARP Services
Schwartz Center Steering Committee
Beth Lown, MD Chief Medical Officer
Michael Goldberg, MD Scholar-in-Residence
Elizabeth Hickman Chief Operating Officer
Kathy Scopin, BSN, PHN, RN Membership Experience Advisor
In Partnership With
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsor
Bronze Sponsors

View the sponsorship levels. For more information on these and other sponsorship opportunities, please contact Elizabeth Hickman at

Media Sponsor

Thank you to the Schwartz Center National Business Members for their year-round support of our mission and programs including this conference. Learn more about business membership.


Chairman Circle
Executive Circle
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Blue Cross Blue Shield MA
Massachusetts General Hospital
Leader Circle

American Hospital Association
Benchmark Senior Living
Genesis HealthCare
Integro Insurance Brokers
MedPro Group
Novo Nordisk
Partners HealthCare
Tufts Health Plan

About the Schwartz Center

The Schwartz Center is dedicated to strengthening the human connection at the
heart of healthcare. 

Through national and international partnerships, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare’s coalition of caregivers, patients, families and other leaders work together to make compassion a vital element in every aspect of healthcare. We provide innovative educational and training opportunities for caregivers that are supported by cutting-edge research in neuroscience and communication. We are dedicated to advancing policies that inspire and help healthcare organizations create an environment that fosters a culture of healing and well-being for patients and clinicians.

Established in 1995, the Schwartz Center, a leader in the movement to make compassion a vital element in every patient-caregiver interaction, was founded on the belief that greater compassion and more meaningful collaboration are fundamental to the kind of care clinicians want to deliver and patients want to receive.

The Schwartz Center is an independent, non-profit organization, with 450 healthcare members in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, supporting 288,000 healthcare professionals each year.  In partnership with the Point of Care Foundation, more than 190 hospitals, hospices and other healthcare organizations conduct the innovative Schwartz Rounds® program in the United Kingdom, which unites caregivers from a range of disciplines to share experiences, learn from each other and focus on the human dimension of medicine.

Schwartz Center members rely on programs, education and resources to support clinician well-being, enhance the quality of care, enable better outcomes and create a more positive and rewarding experience for all members of the care team, patients and their families. To help patients and family members acknowledge caregivers who epitomize the qualities of compassionate care the Schwartz Center established the Honor Your Caregiver program. Through its National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year® Award, the Center celebrates healthcare professionals who display extraordinary devotion and compassion in caring for patients and families.

For media inquires please contact: Cathy Burke ( )

For sponsorship information please contact: Elizabeth Hickman (

For exhibitor information please contact: Melissa Thaler ( )

Connect with Us


The Westin Boston Waterfront

425 Summer Street, Boston, MA

Ideally located in Boston’s thriving Seaport District, The Westin Boston Waterfront offers guests the opportunity to relax and recharge with many onsite amenities and explore the vibrant cultural and culinary offerings nearby.


Limited rooms at the discounted rate of $299/night are available for September 8th, 9th & 10th.  If you plan to extend your stay beyond those nights, please contact the hotel directly at 617-532-4600 to get the best available rates.