Frank Ferris is known globally as a trailblazer, a visionary, and an innovator in palliative medicine, research, and education. Early during medical training, he recognized the need, joy, and profound satisfaction that came from being closer to patient treatment and outcomes than a radiology oncology career path offered. A chance encounter with a pharmacy rep just days after Frank devoured an issue of The Medical Clinics of North America in 1986 set in motion a specialty in pain management and education that has transformed countless patients’ chronic illness experience and also touched, in fact, revolutionized treatment for thousands of physicians and clinicians.
His mother’s declaration after his father’s appalling death experience, “…Don’t waste your time being angry at the nursing home. Put your energy into activities that will make the world a better place for the living,” became the grounding compass that continues to frame his palliative and hospice care manifesto and core values. Frank is proud to have been a change agent and part of a paradigm shift to transform deplorable conditions to those that are what patients, their families, and caregivers would hope for.
He has been recognized with a Golden Jubilee Award from Queen Elizabeth II, received both Canadian and American National Leadership Awards, and has been involved in multiple projects noted below that have had significant impacts both domestically and internationally. Frank is particularly interested in educational and research strategies to grow palliative care clinicians and leaders, and advance palliative care globally. He has published and spoken widely on many palliative care subjects, including effective approaches to caring for patients and families, education, and program implementation.
Frank aspires to integrate palliative care early into the treatment of all patients and families experiencing illnesses globally. He hopes you will too!
- Clinical Professor of Hospice and Palliative Care, Department of Specialty Medicine, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, Ohio
- Adjunct Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio
- Member, Board of Trustees, OhioHealth Research and Innovation Institute, Columbus, Ohio
- Past Chair, International Education Steering Group, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, Virginia
- Past Chair, Education Council, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, Virginia
- Retired, Executive Director, Palliative Medicine, Research & Education, OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio
- Principal of Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Curriculum (PCIC)
- Principal of International Leadership Development Initiative & International Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program
- Member of the Board, International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care, 2008-2013
- Fellow and Past President, American Association for Cancer Education (FAACE), 2010
- Coprincipal and Author / Editor, Education on Palliative and End-of-life Care (EPEC) and EPEC-Oncology Projects
- Author / Editor, A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: based on National Principles and Norms Of Practice, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) for which he was awarded a Golden Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Governor General of Canada, May 2003, and a National Leadership Award by CHPCA in September 2005
Education / Honors
- AAHPM Visionary, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, March 2018
- 2014 Master Faculty Award, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dublin, Ohio, July 2015
- Doctoris Honoris Causa Degree from Tbilisi State University, February 2011.
- Fellow, and Past President, American Association for Cancer Education (FAACE), 2010
- Fellow, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (FAAHPM), 2008
- Faculty Scholar, Project on Death in America, 1998-2000
- Board Certified, Hospice & Palliative Medicine, American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 1998-2013
- Fellowship, Pain and Symptom Management, Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, 1987-1991
- Postgraduate training, Internal Medicine and Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, 1981-1987
- Medical Degree, McMaster Medical School, Hamilton, Ontario, 1981
- Honors Bachelor of Science Degree, Cooperative Applied Chemistry, University of Waterloo, 1975
- Spread the Word: There Are Two Opioid Crises! Marchetti Calônego MA, Sikandar S, Ferris FD, Moreira de Barros GA. Drugs. 2020 Jun 12. doi: 10.1007/s40265-020-01342-8. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32533500
- Looking Back, and Ahead: A Call to Action for Increasing the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialty Pipeline. Laura E. Dingfield, Vicki A. Jackson, Jane deLima Thomas, Kathleen P. Doyle, Frank D. Ferris, and Steven M. Radwany, J Palliat Med 2020 Online Pre-print.
- Leadership Development Initiative: Growing Global Leaders… Advancing Palliative Care. Ferris FD, Moore SY, Callaway MV, Foley KM. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018 Feb;55(2S):S146-S156. PMID: 28803073. Full Text Open Access
- A prognostic indicator for patients hospitalized with heart failure. Snow R, Vogel K, Vanderhoff B, Kelch BP, Ferris FD. J Palliat Med. Epub 2016 Aug 19. PMID: 27541289. Full Text Open Access
- Still Enthusiastic After All These Years. von Gunten CF, Ferris FD. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Jul;50(1):130-2. Epub 2015 Apr 18. PMID: 25896103. Full Text Open Access
- The Last Hours of Living: Practical Advice for Clinicians. Emanuel LL, Ferris FD, von Gunten CF, Hauser JM, Von Roenn JH. Medscape Open Access after Registering.
- Clarifying Delirium Management. Irwin SA, Pirrello RD, Hirst JM, Buckholz GT, Ferris FD. J Palliat Med 2013;16(4):423-435. PMID: 23480299. Full Text Open Access
- Comparison of International Medical Graduates with US Medical Trainees after a 4-Week Course in Palliative Medicine: a Pilot Study. Yang, HB, Neleson RA, Ferris FD. J Palliat Med 2013;16(5):1-7. PMID: 23448688. Full Text Open Access.
- I Can’t Stop Crying: Grief and Recovery, A Compassionate Guide. Martin JD, Ferris FD. Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 1992; Republished eBook and Paperback by McClelland & Stewart, 2013.
- Leveraging External Resources To Grow and Sustain Your Palliative Care Program: A Call to Action. Pantilat SZ, Kerr KM, Kutner JS, Ferris FD, Rathfon MA, Rabow MW. J Palliat Med. 2012 Jan;15(1):25-8. Epub 2011 Dec 14. PMID: 22165898. Full Text Open Access.
- Why oncologists should refer patients earlier for hospice care. von Gunten CF, Lutz S, Ferris FD. Oncology (Williston Park). 2011 Nov 30;25(13):1278-80, 1282-5. PMID: 22272498. Full Text Open Access
- Palliative Cancer Care a Decade Later: Accomplishments, the Need, Next Steps—From the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Ferris FD, Bruera E, Cherny N, Cummings C, Currow D, Dudgeon D, JanJan N, Strasser F, von Gunten CF, Von Roenn JH. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jun 20;27(18):3052-8. Epub 2009 May 18. PMID: 19451437. Full Text Open Access.
- Dog with a Bone (autobiography). Periyakoil VS, Ferris FD. J Palliat Med. 2008 Jun;11(5):696-9. PMID: 18588400. Full Text Open Access.
- The Opportunity for Psychiatry in Palliative Care. Irwin SA, Ferris FD. Can J Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;53(11):713-24. PMID: 19087465. Full Text.
- The Public Health Strategy for Palliative Care. Stjernsward J, Foley KM, Ferris FD. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 May;33(5):486-493. PMID: 17482035. Full Text Open Access.
- Evaluating the California Hospital Initiative in Palliative Services. Pantilat SZ, Rabow MW, Citko J, von Gunten CF, Auerbach AD, Ferris FD. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jan 23;166(2):227-30. PMID: 16432093. Full Text Open Access.
- Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care for Oncology. Emanuel LL, Ferris FD, von Gunten CF, Von Roenn J. EPEC-O: © The EPEC Project,™ Chicago, IL, 2005. ISBN: 0-9714180-9-8. At NCI; IPCRC, All Modules, Videos Downloadable.
- A Model to Guide Patient and Family Care. Based On nationally Accepted Principles and Norms of Practice. Ferris F, Balfour H, Bowen K, Farley J, Hardwick M, Lamontagne C, Lundy M, Syme A, West P. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2002;24(2):106-23. PMID: 12231127. FULL TEXT. CHPCA March 2002, Revised version available from CHPCA.
- The Education for Physicians on End-of-Life Care (EPEC) Curriculum. Emanuel LL, von Gunten CF, Ferris FD. American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, 1999. Available at http://www.epec.net for a Fee