Jennifer Burgher Seaman

Assistant Professor
Acute & Tertiary Care


Dr. Seaman’s program of research is centered on advancing primary palliative care—the integration of palliative care principles and practices in the routine care of patients—in the ICU setting. Her specific research focus is enhancing clinician-family communication and the implementation of routine, timely interdisciplinary family meetings in the ICU. Her current project applies principles from implementation science and organization behavior to the development and pilot testing of a scalable intervention to ensure that timely interdisciplinary family meetings are held for critically ill ICU patients. Dr. Seaman has conducted studies on measures of nursing care quality and patterns of palliative care consultation for mechanically ventilated ICU patients; hospice and family involvement in end-of-life care; prevalence of advance directives among older adults admitted to the ICU; and barriers and facilitators to the conduct of interdisciplinary family meetings in the ICU. She has been awarded NIH, foundation, and intramural funding for her training and research work. Dr. Seaman has expertise in the areas of critical care, gerontology, palliative care, and bioethics, along with skills in qualitative methods, intervention fidelity, and implementation science. She is affiliated with the University’s Center for Bioethics and Health Law, and she currently is funded through a Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar Leadership career development award.

Clinical Emphasis

She practiced as a staff nurse and primary nurse care coordinator in a CCU/ICU within UPMC, and Dr. Seaman currently serves as a clinical instructor for junior-level students in the BSN program (NUR 1220: Advanced Nursing Management of the Adult with Acute/Complex Health Problems). She has been a mentor in the school’s undergraduate research mentorship program (URMP) for the past five years. 


Dr. Seaman’s service at the local level includes serving as a member of the board and then president of the Eta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. She also is a member of the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital Ethics Committee. At the national level, Dr. Seaman has been a member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) since 2015, and she currently participates as a member of the ATS Nursing Assembly. She has been an active member of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association (HPNA) since 2012 and she serves as a scholarship and grant reviewer for HPNA. Dr. Seaman also is a member of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA).