The National Palliative Care Research Center

Curing suffering through palliative care research.


Yasemin Turkman PhD, APRN

Assistant Professor

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Grant Year
Grant Term
2 years
Grant Type
Junior Faculty Career Development

Project Description
Enhancing Access and Acceptability of Palliative Care Services for Underserved Persons with Advanced Cancer in the Deep South
Palliative needs differ by patient demographics and disease characteristics, and care should be adapted according to the unique needs of the patient and family. There is a knowledge gap on how to accomplish this for underserved populations. Lay navigators (LNs) have been successful in improving health care in general, and may be useful in bringing palliative care services to Deep South older African Americans (AAs) with advanced cancer. This study will focus on understanding the use of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Patient Care Connect (PCC) LN program, by using a sequential, explanatory mixed method approach to design a patient- and caregiver-centered LN palliative care strategy to overcome disparities. The overall study objective is to examine data to inform, adapt, and pilot test a promising LN intervention that could be used increase palliative care access for Deep South underserved persons with advanced cancers.


Yasemin Turkman, PhD, APRN, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing and a UAB Health Disparities Research Training Program Scholar.  She holds PhD and MSN degrees from Yale University and an MPH from Harvard University. Dr. Turkman is currently researching access and acceptability of palliative care services for underserved persons in the Deep South. This region of the United States is under represented in palliative care research, and palliative care uptake lags other parts of the country. With NPCRC funding, she is examining the potential for lay navigators to increase palliative care use in older African Americans with advanced cancer in a primarily rural setting. Dr. Turkman’s prior research has been funded by the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Disparities Program, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing/Johnson & Johnson. She is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Dr. Turkman is a 2018 NPCRC Junior Faculty Career Development Awardee.