Fuld Palliative Care Fellows

.Nurses in exam room

Be a Clinical Leader

The Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship program is an innovative palliative care program at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Emory Palliative Care Center established by the Helene Fuld Health Trust.

The program aims to develop nurse leaders who can make an impact in palliative care, an area of health care that is rapidly growing as more Americans are facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses.

This Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship Program will prepare nursing students to work collaboratively with physicians, social workers, physical therapists, and chaplains to provide specialized holistic palliative care, which is a unique care model that provides patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress often associated with serious illnesses, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for patients and theirfamilies.

This fellowship program will provide program support and scholarships to select students each year to become immersed in palliative care clinical initiatives, research, and policy development by working with the Emory Palliative Care Center, an organization that provides team-based palliative care to nearly 5,000 adult and pediatric patients each year.

Fuld Fellowship Program in Palliative Care

The Fuld Fellowship Program in Palliative Care was established in 2015 with generous gifts from the Fuld Trust. The goal of this program is to prepare nursing students to be leaders in improving quality of life for people with serious illnesses and their families by focused palliative care education, interdisciplinary practice, and research activities in their nursing curriculum. The program is led by co-directors, Shella Chawda, NP, and Debbie Gunter, FNP-BC, ACHPN, who are dedicated to nursing excellence in palliative care education and practice. 

Fuld Palliative Care Scholars

Rachel Behrend

Rachel Behrend 

Rachel is a second-degree AMSN student from Bethesda Maryland who will be graduating in December 2018. She comes to Emory having graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in biology. Rachel loves the combination of professionalism and intimacy that characterizes the nursing profession, the lifelong opportunities for intellectual stimulation and growth, and the undeniable chance that nursing will provide to make a positive impact. She has a longstanding interest in movement, pain, and rehabilitation, originally through the lens of basic neuroscience research, which she pursued prior to beginning the AMSN program at Emory. She is now most interested in helping patients with long-term illnesses and chronic pain through rehabilitative methods and palliative care. Rachel hopes to work in a setting that will allow her to provide rehabilitation to those suffering with long-term illnesses who wish to return to their daily activities. She hopes to start her career in a clinic that affords her the time and resources to pursue this, and one day perhaps have her own practice where this will be a primary emphasis.

Emily Buzhardt

Emily Buzhardt 

Emily is a second-degree AMSN student from Nashville Tennessee who will be graduating in May 2019. She comes to Emory School of Nursing having graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in biology. Emily chose nursing due to its patient-focused nature and its holistic model of care, that nurses view the patient as being more than his or her disease. Out of all health care providers, nurses spend the most time with patients.

She wants to form relationships with her patients and support them in times of need.

On her journey to Emory, Emily worked as a triage and medical assistant and decided that she wanted to pursue a career in oncology because she loved the patients that she worked with as a medical assistant. 

Haley Lynn


Haley is a second-degree AMSN student from New Jersey. She will graduate from Emory in December 2019. She came to Emory School of Nursing after graduating with a degree in Public Health from American University in Washington, DC. After graduating college, Haley worked at a cancer institute within Boston, Massachusetts for two and a half years. She became familiar with the world of oncology and the unfortunate impacts it has on patients, and the people close to them. Haley enjoys building relationships with patients and admires the holistic care nurses provide. Haley hopes to gain nursing and palliative care skills to offer comfort and aid to patients and families affected by chronic and terminal disease.

Hannah Spero


Hannah is a second-degree AMSN student from San Francisco, California, who will graduate December 2019. She comes to Emory having graduated from UCLA with a degree in International Development Studies and minors in Public Health and African Studies. Hannah has always wanted to make a career out of helping others, and she decided to pursue nursing after interning at a maternal health center in Accra, Ghana, while studying abroad. She loves the personal, hands-on care for others that permeates the nursing profession. After college, she discovered her passion for geriatrics and palliative care through her work as a CNA at the San Francisco VA Medical Center; this is also where she decided to focus her career on homeless and housing-insecure populations. In the future, Hannah hopes to work as a nurse practitioner to provide primary and palliative care to chronically and seriously ill, homeless/housing-insecure adults. In addition, she plans to be a part of health policy advocacy for this vulnerable population.

Calla Michalak


Calla is a second-degree AMSN student from Memphis, Tennessee who will be graduating in December 2020. She came to Emory two weeks after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Psychology and minors in Bioethics & Health Promotion. She had chosen healthcare early on in her college career and, as she learned more about the study of nursing, chose it for its holistic and patient-centered approach to care.

During her years at Michigan State, she served as a member of the Student Health Advisory Council and worked with the health promotion department to advocate for and address student needs. She also spent her summers working in medically underserved communities both domestically and abroad in Riobamba, Ecuador and Hyden, Kentucky. Those experienced confirmed her desire to work with and in communities that are typically underserved to promote health across the lifespan.

Hinal Patel

Hinal is an AMSN student from Placentia, California who will be graduating in December 2020. Hinal started her clinical experiences as a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where she helped nurses to take care of children in NICU, ICU and oncology. After completing a degree in Neurobiology at University of California Irvine in 2014, Hinal enjoyed teaching math and science to high school students, and worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC). As a CRC, Hinal worked with disadvantaged patients who suffered from chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia.

To treat multifaceted chronic illnesses, Hinal believes in empowering patients by teaching preventative measures and practicing personalized medicine. Bringing her passion in teaching and patient advocacy, Hinal also aspires to work towards health policy issues and decrease health disparities.

Ashley Cohen

Ashley is an AMSN student from Leawood, Kansas who will be graduating in December 2020. Her interest in neurodegenerative disorders began in high school when her grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. To better understand his disease, she began volunteering at a local retirement home. On the final day that her grandfather was with her family, they were granted a hospice volunteer. Beginning the grief process with this complete stranger was one of the most comforting moments she had ever experienced. She made us realize that with a terminal illness, it is a blessing to allow someone to pass.

After this experience with hospice, she knew she wanted her career to be focused on geriatric patients and to be involved in the palliative care community. She majored in neuroscience at Indiana University-- and completed research domestically and internationally. Research showed her that healthcare professionals have a vital role in moving the advances of bench research into the realm of their treatment.

She volunteered with the Indiana University Health Hospice and realized that her passion was to follow the nursing model. By pursuing a nursing career, she has the ability to give more one-on-one time to patients who need advocates and providers to help them by providing holistic care with many different complex illnesses.




  • Must be an Accelerated BSN + MSN (ABSN + MSN) student who has demonstrated a special commitment to scholarship, leadership and social responsibility as a component of professional nursing practice
  • Available to students who can reasonably return to school with only financial support from the Fellowship program
  • Have a GPA of 3.5 of above (the average GPA of previous recipients is a 3.71)


Recipients of the Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship are expected to:

  • Spend additional time on Fuld Fellowship interdisciplinary seminars and activities
  • MUST have definitive plans to work in a palliative care environment
  • Remain committed to leadership activities related to palliative care
  • Share their experiences with others in the School
  • Complete a MSN degree at Emory University
  • Demonstrate to the profession and the broader public a fine example of nursing leadership and engagement in palliative care

Applications are not accepted for this award. All students are automatically reviewed for this award during the admission review process and will be notified individually if they are chosen to receive the award. 

For questions or additional information about the Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship, please contact:

Dr. Mi-Kyung Song
Director, Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care
Phone: 404.727.3134
Email: mi-kyung.song@emory.edu