Cathy Berkman

Associate Professor
Director, Palliative Care Fellowship
Phone: 212-636-6662
Office: Lincoln Center 704A


BS, University of Vermont
MSW, Boston University
PhD, Yale University

Research Interests

Palliative and end-of-life care
Physical and mental health of older adults
Cross-cultural research


Cathy Berkman is an Associate Professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, and is Director of the Palliative Care Fellowship. She received a BS from University of Vermont (social welfare, sociology and anthropology), an MSW from Boston University (community organization and research) and a PhD from Yale University, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (psychosocial epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, and aging). She was an NIMH Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia University School of Public Health, Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program and Research Associate at the Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology. Dr. Berkman has served as PI and Co-PI on a wide range of research studies in physical and mental health and aging, including large epidemiologic studies and intervention studies in inpatient and outpatient settings. For the last twenty years Dr. Berkman’s primary interests have been in palliative and end-of-life care, including preferences for treatment and communication with health care providers and family, knowledge and attitudes about advance directives, and examining the role of culture. Her current research includes an examination of these issues comparing Korean American, Korean, and Chinese American older adults.

Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught

Foundation Research I and II (MSW Program)
Advanced Research I and II (MSW Program)
Observational Research Methods (Doctoral Program)
Statistics I (Doctoral Program)
Data Management and Analysis (Doctoral Program)

Selected Publications

Ko, E., & Berkman, C. S. (2012). Advance directives among Korean American older adults: knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. J Gerontol Soc Work, 55(6), 484-502. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2012.667523

Vitale, C. A., Berkman, C. S., Monteleoni, C., & Ahronheim, J. C. (2011). Tube feeding in patients with advanced dementia: knowledge and practice of speech-language pathologists. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 42(3), 366-378. doi: 0.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.11.017

Ko, E., & Berkman, C. S. (2010). Role of children in end-of-life treatment planning among Korean American older adults. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, 6(3-4), 164 - 184. doi: 10.1080/15524256.2010.529019

Berkman, C. S., & Ko, E. (2010). What and when Korean American older adults want to know about serious illness. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 28(3), 244-259.

Berkman, C. S., & Ko, E. (2009). Preferences for disclosure of information about serious illness among older Korean American immigrants in New York City. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 12(4), 351-357.

Selected Community and Professional Service

BOARD MEMBER, Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network, 2016 – present

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER, ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER, National Consensus Project to Establish Core Competencies and an Educational Curriculum for Generalist-Level Palliative Social Work, 2016 - present

CONVENER, Hospice, Palliative, End-of-Life Care Interest Group, Gerontological Society of America (GSA), 2015 - present

EDITORIAL BOARD, Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, 2016 - present

COMMITTEE MEMBER, Building Leadership and Competence in Palliative Social Work Task Force, 2015 - present


Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine
Fellow, Brookdale Center on Aging
NIMH Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Yale University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
NIMH Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Columbia University, School of Public Health, Psychiatric Epidemiology Program