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Professor, Division of Geriatric Medicine
Medical Director, UNC Palliative Care Program
Associate Director, Geriatric Fellowship Program

UNC Geriatrics Clinic Provider: No
UNC Hospitals Provider:
Palliative Care Service and UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus Geriatric Inpatient Service

Specialty Areas: Geriatric medicine, palliative medicine, long-term care


BS Summa Cum Laude: Duke University, 1982; MD: Harvard Medical School, 1986; Resident: Brigham & Women’s Hospital, 1986-1988; University of North Carolina, 1988-89; Geriatric Medicine Fellow: University of North Carolina, 1989-1990; MPH: University of North Carolina, 1991; Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar: University of North Carolina, 1990-1992; Assistant Professor: University of North Carolina, 1992-1999; Associate Professor: University of North Carolina, 1999-2011; Director, UNC Palliative Care Program, 2001 – present; Professor: University of North Carolina, 2011 – present.

Dr. Hanson is a tenured Professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She was a founding co-Director of the UNC Palliative Care Program, an interdisciplinary program of palliative care services and related research and teaching. As a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, she provides clinical services for frail and medically complex older patients, and for adult patients of all ages with serious and potentially life-limiting illness.

Research and Clinical Interests:


Dr. Hanson leads a research program to understand and improve the quality of palliative care for nursing home residents and other vulnerable populations. As the lead clinical investigator on the PEACE Project she helped to develop and test clinical quality measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum and applied nationwide in hospice care. She has been the principal investigator or co-investigator for numerous studies to improve nursing home dementia care, including two NIH-NIA funded randomized clinical trials of decision aids for palliative care in advanced dementia. Dr. Hanson also serves on the Steering Committee and as a site-Principal Investigator for the Measurement Core of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative group, a nationwide palliative care clinical trials network.

Selected Bibliography:


Here is a complete list of Dr. Hanson’s publications.

Mitchell SL, Shaffer ML, Cohen S, Hanson LC, Habtemariam D, Volandes AE. An advance care planning video decision support tool for nursing home residents with advanced dementia: a cluster randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Med, in press March 2018.

Ernecoff NC, Wessell K, Gabriel S, Carey T, Hanson LC. A novel screening to identify late stage dementia patients for palliative care research and practice. J Pain Symptom Manage 2018; 55:1152-1158.

Dolin R, Holmes GM, Stearns SC, Kirk DA, Hanson LC, Taylor DH, Silberman P. A positive association between hospice profit margin and the rate at which patients are discharged before death. Health Affairs 2017; 36:1291-1298.

Toles M, Colon-Emeric C, Naylor MD, Asafu-Adjei J, Hanson LC. Connect-Home: transitional care of skilled nursing facility patients and their caregivers. J Am Geriatr Soc 2017; 65:2322-2328.

Bennett AV, Lee S, Drier S, Wessell KL, Hanson LC. A library of instruments endorsed by published systematic reviews for assessing patients and their care developed by the Palliative Care Research Cooperative. J Pall Med 2017; 20:910-911.

Sudore R, Lum HD, You J, Hanson LC, Meier DE, Pantilat S, Matlock DD, Rieitjens JAC, Korfage IJ, Ritchie C, Kutner JS, Teno JM, Thomas J, Heyland D. Outcomes that Define Successful Advance Care Planning: A Delphi Panel Consensus. J Pain Symptom Manage 2018; 55:245-255.

Hanson LC, Bernard SA, Burgess E, Chang L, Chera B, Collichio FA, Creedle C, Freeman AT, Milowsky M, Wood WA. Integrating palliative and oncology care for patients with advanced cancer. J Palliat Med 2017; 20:1366-1371.

Hanson LC, Zimmerman S, Song MK, Rosemond C, Gilliam R, Carey T, Chisholm L, Lin FC, Mitchell S. Effect of the Goals of Care intervention for advanced dementia: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med 2017; 177:24-31.

Hanson LC, Armstrong TD, Green MA, Hayes M, Peacock S, Elliot-Bynum S, Goldman MV, Corbie-Smith G, Earp JA. Circles of Care: Development and evaluation of a peer support model for African Americans with advanced cancer. Health Education & Behavior 2013; 40:536-43.

Hanson LC, Carey TS, Caprio AJ, Lee TJ, Ersek M, Garrett J, Jackman A, Gilliam R, Wessell K, Mitchell SL. Improving decision making for feeding options in dementia care: a randomized trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 2011; 59:2009-2016. PMCID: 3227016.

Links to News Articles and Podcasts:
Hanson LC. Improving Advanced Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. GeriPal podcast, April 4, 2017.

Hanson LC, Schenck AP, Burstin H. Measuring Quality of Care for Older Adults with Serious Illness. Health Affairs invited blog post, January 22, 2014.

  • Phone Number

    919-843-4096 (Office Phone)

  • Address

    5003 Old Clinic

    CB# 7550