Many of our staff here at the FTD Center develop close relationships with research patients but cannot always stay in contact after pursuing other job opportunities or going back to school. We are often asked how our former staff members are doing, so we decided to share life updates from such former staff with patients and families. In this issue, we are delighted to highlight Brianna Morgan and Collin York.


Brianna Morgan

Since leaving the Penn FTD Center in December 2015, Brianna has been working as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Palliative Care Program Coordinator of the Palliative Care Program at the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital (ACC at PAH). In her role, Brianna cares for patients with cancer and helps them with symptoms, provides emotional & social support, and offers assistance with understanding complicated medical choices and decisions. She is also working with the team at ACC at PAH to develop a program for older adults with cancer that addresses their unique needs.

In addition to patient care, Brianna coordinates educational programs for nurses, doctors, and supportive staff at the ACC at PAH. These efforts help the staff better understand palliative care and in turn, provide quality palliative care to patients and their families. Brianna is also undergoing specialized training as a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Brianna is continuing her research interests, and she has published a paper on the role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in Geriatric Oncology in the February edition of Seminars in Oncology Nursing.

Outside of work, Brianna is looking forward to teaching a course on health care and aging to master’s level nursing students at the Penn Nursing School in spring 2017. November was a big month for Brianna as she got married at Ridley Creek State Park and moved into her first home with her new husband, Tom. Brianna, Tom, and their dog, Chloe, are looking forward to exploring their new neighborhood in South Philly!


Collin York

Collin is midway through his first semester at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He spends his very full days learning and reviewing all sorts of interesting things, from the structure and function of the lungs to the epidemiology of heart disease. He describes the rate of information he is expected to retain as like “drinking from the proverbial fire hose,” but he loves medical school and would recommend it to anyone.

In his time outside of school, he edits and contributes to the college of medicine’s own, student-produced literary and arts magazine, The Red Wheelbarrow. Despite his meager budget, he cooks a lot and eats entirely too much fine local cheese – both of which nicely complement his renewed passion for playing basketball. He also enjoys watching short videos of his adorable niece and nephew, Jane and Angus.

He stays in contact with several FTD Center lab members and alumni and looks back fondly upon his experiences working with so many nice families in his old job. He misses these people and Philadelphia so much that he hopes to visit in December.

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