The 2015 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards in the early career physician category honor Shaida Talebreza Brandon, MD, FAAHPM, HMDC, a geriatrician and palliative care specialist at the George E. Wahlen Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and medical director of Inspiration Hospice, a hospice and palliative care teaching site for the University of Utah. The selection committee praised her work with home-based primary care of veterans.

Dr. Talebreza works closely with the VA National Center for Ethics in Health Care to develop new practices for ensuring that the values, goals, and life-sustaining treatment decisions of seriously ill patients are elicited, documented, and honored. She serves on the National VA Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions advisory board and co-chairs the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System advisory board, which oversees the testing of new practices. 

Dr. Talebreza strives to promote geriatric palliative care education nationally by serving on the American Geriatrics Society/Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs education committee and project leader of Geriatrics Evaluation and Management Tools, an educational publication. She is co-chair of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine 2015 Hospice Medical Director Conference. She received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources Geriatric Academic Career Award for 2010-2015 for developing a geriatric palliative care curriculum.

Eric Widera, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine, division of geriatrics at the University of California San Francisco (and a winner of one of the 2011 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards), nominated Dr. Talebreza, saying that she “is the type of palliative care clinician that I, and many others, would want if we developed a serious illness.” In support of her nomination, Timothy W. Farrell, MD, AGSF, of the University of Utah School of Medicine, wrote that she “is a calming, comforting presence and incorporates outstanding active listening techniques coupled with reflective practice that both lead to exemplary communication with patients and families during what can often be extremely vulnerable and frightening periods in their lives”. 

Dr. Talebreza received her medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2002.