Heather Coats joined the University of Colorado College of Nursing as an Assistant Professor in July 2017. Prior to joining the faculty, she completed a two-year post-doctoral NIH/ NHLBI T32 fellowship at the University of Washington/Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence in July 2017. She was invited to and is serving as one of the plenary speakers at the annual American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine/Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association State of the Science Session for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 national assemblies.
As a Palliative Care Adult Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Coats joined the College of Nursing with more than 20 years of clinical experience in palliative, oncology and hospice care. Prior to her post-doctoral fellowship, she was a NINR pre-doctoral fellow during her doctoral education at the University of Arizona, College of Nursing, where she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award.
Her research interests focus on improving quality of communication and psychological-social-spiritual well-being for persons and their families living with serious illness through the development and testing of person-centered narrative interventions (PCNIs).
Dr. Coats has been continuously funded for six years from NIH for her program of research and recently was awarded a Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar Award (2021-2022).
As of January 2019, Dr. Coats now serves as the Director of Research for the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association.