An alumnus with a passion for palliative care
An alumnus with a passion for palliative care

For as long as Terence Cudahy, BS’78, MD’82, can remember, he has been interested in science. A self-described “geek,” Dr. Cudahy recalls that, as a child, he was saddened every year when school was dismissed for summer vacation. 

“I have always had an inquisitive nature,” says Dr. Cudahy. “I enjoyed school and was always drawn to science.” 

Fast-forward through his academic path and professional journey, Dr. Cudahy’s regard for the sciences led him into a career that has dealt largely with the accurate microscopic diagnosis of cancer. 

His interactions with colleagues in surgery and oncology proved to be interesting and rewarding; however, they also brought to light shortcomings in medicine’s ability to deal effectively and humanely with end-of-life issues and to improve quality-of-life care for patients with serious illness. 

Dr. Cudahy’s passion for learning and his shared mission with his alma mater to serve others have culminated in the creation of the Cudahy Palliative Care Scholarship at Creighton University. Dr. Cudahy says that he and his wife, Kristin, had been contemplating a gift to Creighton for many years. 

When Dr. Cudahy realized that he and Bo Dunlay, MD’81, dean of the School of Medicine, had mutual goals for the field of palliative care, a series of discussions followed over a period of months. 

“It’s a complex and underserved area in medicine,” says Dr. Cudahy. “Bo and I were able to recognize an opportunity to enhance palliative care education at Creighton.” 

Dr. Dunlay says that Creighton University aspires to become a nationally recognized leader in preparing palliative medicine practitioners who are well-grounded in medical humanities. 

“Palliative medicine is a natural fit for Creighton because of our Jesuit, Catholic values. This is a part of cura personalis: care for each individual patient as a gift from God, with unique spiritual, emotional and physical needs.” 

Through the Cudahy Palliative Care Scholarship and with wise stewardship of the gift, the Cudahys and Creighton University will have a meaningful impact on future generations of physicians and, most importantly, the patients they serve. 

“Bo, Kristin and I agree that end-of-life care issues need to be addressed with compassion,” says Dr. Cudahy. “This all begins with education, and I am most grateful to Dr. Dunlay and Creighton development officers for their assistance facilitating this gift.” 


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