Amisha Parekh de Campos, an assistant clinical professor in the School of Nursing, has been named the 2021 Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse of the Year by the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center. The organization’s annual award recognizes a nurse who “personifies excellence in the professional practice of hospice/palliative nursing.”
Parekh de Campos is a recent addition to the School of Nursing’s faculty – joining in fall 2020 – but has been a part of the School community for the past few years, graduating with her Ph.D. last spring. When she’s not teaching, Parekh de Campos works for Middlesex Health as its Hospice Homecare Quality and Education Coordinator.
“I am so grateful to receive this award,” she says. “It’s a great honor. I would like to acknowledge HPCC and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association for their continued support; the team I work with at Middlesex Health Hospice Homecare for their leadership, their education, and making me the nurse I am today; and also the UConn School of Nursing. I couldn’t have completed my Ph.D. without the support of my major advisor Carol Polifroni and my committee.”
Besides exemplifying excellence in hospice and palliative nursing, Parekh de Campos was selected as the 2021 Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse of the Year for making outstanding contributions to the field and providing leadership through mentoring. Billy Rosa, a colleague in palliative care, nominated her for the honor.
“Palliative care is ultimately about alleviating suffering and improving the lived experience of our patients confronting serious illness and their families,” Rosa says. “Dr. Parekh de Campos raises the bar for all of us working in this field. She serves as an exemplar of palliative nursing excellence with her consistent ability to bring together humanistic care with evidence-based practice, whether in research, education, leadership roles, or at the bedside. I cannot imagine a more deserving recipient of this honor and I count myself deeply fortunate to have the privilege of knowing and collaborating with her.”
Parekh de Campos and other award recipients were honored Thursday at the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care. She appeared in a short video accepting the award and thanking her colleagues at Middlesex Health and UConn.
Parekh de Campos originally received her bachelor’s in exercise science from George Washington University, before going on to earn her master’s in public health from there as well. In 2010, she began her nursing journey, receiving her bachelor’s from St. Joseph College (now University) in West Hartford before studying an advanced nursing degree at UConn.
The Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse of the Year award is not the first time Parekh de Campos has been recognized for her leadership. In January, she received the Young Investigator Award from the Connecticut Coalition to Improve End-of-Life Care and, at Commencement in May 2020, the School of Nursing gave her its Carolyn Ladd Widmer Ph.D. Award for her leadership in education and practice.
“Amisha believes that palliative care needs to start early in a patient’s trajectory regardless of whether the goal of treatment is care or cure,” the School of Nursing’s commencement program read. “Amisha leads by example: she conducts advanced care planning conversations and models the how-tos for others. Her work touches practice, education, and is evidence-based through research. This is leadership.”