Serious Illness Communication and Self Care

Midwest Lung Cancer Patient Summit Presentation:

Susan O’Conner-Von, PhD, Professor of Nursing, University of Minnesota; Jessica Hausauer, PhD, Executive Director, Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care


Dr. Susan O’Conner-Von is a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. She has been on staff at Children’s Hospital, St. Paul for 33 years. Dr. O’Conner-Von received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Minnesota; and her PhD in Nursing at Rush University, Chicago.

Dr. O’Conner-Von advances interprofessional healthcare through her program of research, teaching and service activities with a focus on holistic palliative care. In the classroom, Susan’s personalized involvement with her students ignites passion for nursing research, professional development and to be life-long learners. Dr. O’Conner Von is an AACN/ City of Hope ELNEC Train-the-Trainer in Pediatric and Adult Palliative Care. In addition, Dr. O’Conner-Von was a hospice volunteer for older adults for 16 years. She has received numerous awards recognizing her accomplishments, most recently the University of Minnesota Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education Award (2019) and the Rush –Presbyterian –St. Luke’s Nurses Alumni Association Excellence in Practice Award (2020).


Jessica Hausauer, PhD, is the Executive Director for Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care. She chairs the Minnesota Palliative Care Advisory Council where she represents the perspective of caregivers, and she co-convenes the Minnesota Serious Illness Action Network. Jessica also serves as Vice President of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging.