Susan Hickman, PhD, has been named interim president and chief executive officer of the Regenstrief Institute effective June 1, 2022. She will continue to serve as director of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research at Regenstrief Institute.
Dr. Hickman is the Cornelius and Yvonne Pettinga Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and a professor at Indiana University School of Nursing. She is also co-director of the IUPUI Research in Palliative and End of Life Communication and Training (RESPECT) Signature Center.
Dr. Hickman is a clinical geropsychologist focused on optimizing the quality of life for older adults through improved decision-making and communication about treatment preferences. Much of her work is in advance care planning, helping individuals make decisions about the care they receive when they are unable to speak for themselves.
She is nationally recognized for her work with the POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Program, designed to help ensure that patients’ end-of-life treatment preferences are known and honored. She has spent more than two decades studying the model’s effects on end-of-life care, and her research findings are used across the country to support programs based on the POLST model. She also co-chaired the coalition that championed the development of Indiana’s version of POLST called the Indiana POST form (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment), which has been implemented across the state.
Dr. Hickman has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on multiple externally funded projects related to palliative care. She is co-principal investigator on the National Institute on Aging APPROACHES clinical trial, which aims to improve care by integrating advance care planning into the day-to-day workflow of a nursing home.
Jay L. Hess, M.D., PhD, MHSA, dean of IU School of Medicine, and D. Craig Brater, M.D., chair of the Regenstrief Institute Board of Directors, have both noted their appreciation of Dr. Hickman’s leadership of the Center for Aging Research, her focus on collaboration across the institute and among the organization’s growing number of regional, national and international partners, and her willingness to assume interim leadership of the institute.
Dr. Hickman holds a B.A. in psychology from Wellesley College and an M.A. as well as PhD in psychology from the University of Kansas. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in geropsychology at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oregon and received a certificate in healthcare ethics from the University of Washington.
About Regenstrief Institute
Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. A key research partner to Indiana University, Regenstrief and its research scientists are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.
Sam Regenstrief, a nationally successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.
About IU School of Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.
About IU School of Nursing
Indiana University School of Nursing is one of the largest nursing schools in the nation that offers a full range of programs from undergraduate to doctoral. Over 22,000 IUSON alumni across the globe are empowered to be leaders in clinical practice, research, education, and innovation. The School’s DNP program is ranked #1 in Indiana according to 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools Rankings with the master’s program ranked in the top 50 in the United States.