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Laura C Hanson, MD, MPH, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member, Co-Director of the UNC Palliative Care Program, and Professor in Geriatric Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Director, UNC Palliative Care Program; Professor, Geriatric Medicine
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Prevention and Control

Area of interest

Dr. Hanson is a Professor in the Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine. She graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1986, and trained in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She completed fellowships in Geriatric Medicine and in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina. In 1991 she was awarded an MPH degree in Epidemiology from the UNC School of Public Health.

Dr. Hanson directs the UNC Palliative Care and Hospice Program, and leads a program of research focused on interventions to improve quality of palliative care for persons with advanced cancer, advanced dementia and other serious illnesses.

Find publications on PubMed

Awards and Honors

  • International Neuropalliative Care Society Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award, 2022
  • Indiana University IUCAR / RESPECT Visiting Scholar, 2022
  • UNC Medical Center Quality and Safety award, for sustained improvement based on the work of our Mortality Reduction team, 2021
  • Stanley Aronson Lectureship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brown Alpert School of Medicine Grand Rounds, 2021
  • Community Health Partnership award to Meghan McCann (UNC Medical Center Vice President of Operations) and Laura C. Hanson, MD (UNC Palliative Care Medical Director) from the Chatham County Board of Health for partnering on community response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020
  • Visiting Professor, given in honor of our distinguished colleague and luminary teacher, Division of Geriatrics, University of California-San Francisco, 2017
  • Geriatrics Literature Year in Review selection for the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society as one of “10 high-impact articles published in the geriatrics literature, for the Goals of Care study (JAMA Internal Medicine 2017), 2017
  • H. Fleming Fuller Award, UNC School of Medicine and UNC Hospitals, for recognition of a physician who demonstrates dedication to the highest standards of patient care, teaching and community service, 2011
  • Outstanding Excellence in Geriatric Research, American Geriatrics Society, 2011
  • T. Reginald Harris Award, to the North Carolina physician with outstanding achievements in the areas of healthcare quality and service to the medical community, 2006
  • Ewald W. Busse Award, 2006
  • Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing, for Henderson M, Hanson LC, Reynolds K. Improving Nursing Home Care of the Dying; Springer Publications, 2003.
  • America’s Top Doctors, 2001-2008
  • Soros Faculty Scholar, Project on Death in America, 1997-1999
Headshot of Laura Hanson.