Department of Communication
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Joy Goldsmith
Joy GoldsmithJoy V. Goldsmith
Assistant Professor

Degrees Held

B.A., 1992, Bethel College
M.S., 1995, Southern Illinois University
Ph.D., 2004, University of Oklahoma

Academic Summary

Joy Goldsmith, PhD, has been conducting research on communication and illness, specifically in the context of palliative care and hospice, for the last decade. Her numerous publications in clinical as well as communication journals address health clinician curriculum, nurse training in communication, team-based communication in health care, and family caregiver communication.

A long-time collaborator with a team of health communication and clinical scholars, she has co-authored four books including Communication as Comfort: Multiple Voices in Palliative Care (2008, Routledge Taylor and Francis), Dying with Comfort: Family Illness Narratives and Early Palliative Care (2010, Hampton Press), Communication in Palliative Nursing (2012, Oxford University Press), and Speaking of Dying, with Brazos Press (2012). Her work also can be found in Qualitative Health Research, Health Communication, Social Science and Medicine, American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, Seminars in Oncology Nursing, Medical Teacher, and the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

Joy is a regular speaker at national healthcare conferences, sharing COMFORT, a communication-driven training curriculum, with multidisciplinary health clinicians. She is co-founder and faculty for the Clinical Communication Collaborative, an organization that advances palliative care by fostering clinical communication practices for healthcare professionals, including nurses, physicians, social workers, chaplains, students, and other members of interprofessional healthcare teams.

Courses Taught

Graduate Seminar in Health Communication
Dying and Death
Health Communication
Family Communication
Ethnography and Narrative Inquiry
Communication Theory

Major Publications

Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Goldsmith, J., Ferrell, B., & Ragan, S. (2012). Communication in Palliative Nursing. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Goldsmith, J., Ragan, S. L., & Sanchez-Reilly, S. (2010). Dying With Comfort: Family Illness Narratives and Early Palliative Care. NJ: Hampton Press.

Goldsmith, J., Ferrell, B., Wittenberg-Lyles, E., & Ragan, S. (2013). Effective communication in palliative care. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 17, 163-164. doi: 10.1188/13.CJON

Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Goldsmith, J., Ferrell, B. (2013). Oncology nurse communication barriers to patient-centered care. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 17, 152-158. doi: 10.1188/13.CJON

Goldsmith, J., Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Shaunfield, S., & Sanchez-Reilly, S. (2011). Unfolding case responses to a palliative appropriate patient: A reflective practice dilemma when the case does not fit the algorithm. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 28, 286-241. doi:10.1177/1049909110385670.

Goldsmith, J., Wittenberg-Lyles., E., Rodriguez, D., & Sanchez-Reilly, S. (2010). Interdisciplinary geriatric and palliative care team narratives: Collaboration practices and barriers. Qualitative Health Research, 20(1), 94-104. doi: 10.1177/1049732309355287.

Wittenberg-Lyles, E., Goldsmith, J., Ragan, S. & Sanchez-Reilly, S. (2008). Communicating a terminal prognosis in a palliative care setting: Deficiencies in current communication training protocols. Social Science and Medicine, 66(11), 2356-2365.

Honors & Awards

She received the National Communication Association Division of Applied Communication Distinguished Scholarly Book Award in 2012 for Dying with Comfort: Family Illness Narratives and Early Palliative Care, published by Hampton Press. Her co-authored volume, Speaking of Dying: Recovering the Church's Voice in the Face of Death, with Baker Publishing Group and Brazos Press, was ranked the 4th best-selling book by the press, and was selected as one of the Top 10 Books of the 2012-2013 year by the Academy of Parish Clergy. Using Medical Words with Family Caregivers, a co-authored paper in press with the Journal of Palliative Medicine, was selected as a Top-Paper in Translational Research at the D.C. Health Communication Conference in March, 2013. Joy and her co-authors were awarded the National Communication Division of Health Communication Distinguished Scholarly Article Award in 2009, as well as the Top Paper award in Health Communication for the Eastern Communication Association.

Professional Activity

Her professional activity reiterates a commitment to translational research. Joy and her team members are presenting the first communication-based and disseminated research offered for continuing education credit in medicine, nursing, social work, and pharmacy. Continuing Education credit is available for clinicians in journals, conferences, teleconference broadcast series, and dedicated curriculum modules that are housed on CECentral, as well as MedEd Portal. The web-based modules have been accessed by several thousand practitioners since they went live in 2012.

Phone: 901-678-5458

Fax: 901-678-4331


Office: ACB 235

clinical comm collaborative

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Last Updated: 8/18/14