The International Association for Human Caring logoHow a patient is treated, what it means to truly provide care for a patient and how interdisciplinary team members work together to care for a patient are all part of the science of caring.

This week, nearly 200 researchers and patient care advocates from around the world will gather in Greenville to share and discuss research on caring science at the International Association for Human Caring’s (IAHC) 40th Conference.

Co-hosted by IAHC and Clemson University School of Nursing, the conference will be held at the Clemson University Nursing building on the Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Medical Campus from May 30 – June 1.

This year’s conference is focused on re-imagining the patient care experience, featuring key note speakers:

  • Eduardo Salas, Ph.D., an expert on team work in healthcare systems and TeamSTEPPS,
  • Anne Boykin, Ph.D., Director of the Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring in Nursing, and
  • Regina Holliday, an artist and nationally renowned speaker on patient care advocacy.

With nearly 100 presentations, topics range from palliative nursing care in Nigeria and interprofessional practices to advance the care of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome to communication within nursing, and interprofessional teamwork through caring models.

“The focus of this year’s conference calls us to re-imagine how we are in relationships with each other and the people we serve,” said Shirley Gordon, Ph.D., IAHC President and professor at the Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “It is our hope that participants leave the conference with a renewed commitment to living caring day-to-day.”

Through this conference, the Association provides a forum for disseminating caring science research and welcomes scholars and practitioners from all disciplines interested in advancing the knowledge of caring. The organization also works to promote the education of caring professionals, develop interprofessional caring practice models and collaborative partnerships as well as support the integration of caring knowledge in diverse, global settings to humanize complex systems. This helps provide human caring for health, healing, well-being and a peaceful and dignified death.

Clemson School of Nursing Director and charter IAHC member Kathleen Valentine, Ph.D., said she is honored for the School of Nursing to host the 40th IAHC conference.

“For 40 years, IAHC has hosted an annual research conference that advances caring science and its integration into practice, education and health systems administration,” Valentine said. “This forum has reconnected the core value of caring within the discipline of nursing and other health professions.”

Valentine has studied caring science since her time in graduate school, is a past president of the IAHC and a founding editor of the International Journal for Human Caring. She said that caring science is focused on a holistic approach to nursing and the mindful delivery of truly patient-centered care rather than patient-satisfaction-focused organizations. Focusing on satisfaction can lead to organizational compliance without truly understanding the needs of a patient and their family and what matters most to them, Valentine said.

“Transformation of healthcare systems through a culture of caring is essential to the values of the healing professions,” she said. “This conference is just one way to aid in this transformation.”

For more information about this year’s conference, visit