Dr. Hanson is a Professor in Geriatric Medicine, and Co-Director of the Palliative Care Program. Dr. Hanson graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1986, and received an MPH degree in Epidemiology from the UNC School of Public Health. She trained in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and completed fellowships in Geriatric Medicine and in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Hanson is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Medicine. She has clinical expertise in the care of medically complex older patients and in palliative care for adult patients of all ages.
In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Hanson also leads a program of research to measure and improve quality of health care for older patients made vulnerable by frailty, serious illness, or advanced dementia. Recent studies include development and testing of quality measures for hospice and palliative care, quality improvement interventions to enhance care in nursing homes, community-based supportive care for African-Americans with cancer, and NIH-funded clinical trials to improve the quality of decision-making and quality of care for patients with advanced dementia.