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Brandon Varilek



Assistant Professor

Office Building


Mailing Address

SDSU - Sioux Falls - Nursing
2300 Career Ave Ste 260
Sioux Falls, SD 57107


Ph.D. in Nursing - 2020 - South Dakota State University
BAN in Nursing - 2013 - Augustana University

2015-2020: PCCN (Progressive Care Certified Nurse)
2021-Present: PCCN-K (Progressive Care Certified Nurse - Knowledge)
2017-Present: CCTC (Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator)
2020-Present: CNE® (Certified Nurse Educator®)
2021-Present: CHPN® (Certified Palliative and Hospice Nurse®)

Academic Responsibilities

Graduate and Undergraduate Nursing Courses

Committee Activities

Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Research Committee (2023-2026)
South Dakota Nurses Association Board of Directors (2023-2024)

Faculty Senate (2022-2025)
CON Research and Scholarship Subcommittee, Chair (2023-2026)
CON Faculty Assembly - Secretary (2021-2024)

Awards and Honors

2024 Sherwood and Elizabeth Berg Young Faculty Award Recipient
2023-2024 President of District 10, South Dakota Nurses Association
April/May 2023 Selected as Participant in the Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC) 2023 Palliative Care Mentorship Selective
2020-2021 Chair, Graduate Nursing Student Academy National Leadership Council


Michael, Semhar (Principal Investigator), Varilek, Brandon (Co-PI), Moradi Rekabdarkolaee, Hossein (Co-PI), Ngorsuraches, Surachat (Co-PI), & Brooks, Patti (Co-PI).
Title: Developing Explainable Machine Learning and Computational Methods for Identifying Geographic and Racial Disparities in End Stage Renal Disease
Funding Source: NIH Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS; 1OT2OD032581-02-271) AIM-AHEAD Consortium Development Grant. (9/17/23-9/16/25).

Varilek, Brandon (Principal Investigator), Moradi, Hossein (Key Personnel - Statistician).
Title: Palliative Care Use Among American Indians and Alaska Natives with End-Stage Renal Disease Caused by Diabetes.
Funding Source: NIH (NIDDK) Subaward (P30DK092093) - Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Diabetes Translational Research - Colorado University Anschutz. (12/1/2022-5/31/2024).

Mollman, Sarah (Principal Investigator), Varilek, Brandon (co-investigator).
Title: Adapting an Early Palliative Care Intervention for American Indian and Rural Patients with Advanced Cancer.
Funding Source: Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation, Serious Illness and End of Life Emergent Innovation Grant. (1/1/2022-12/31/2023).

Mollman, Sarah (Principal Investigator), Varilek, Brandon (co-investigator).
Title: Achieving Health Equity for Rural Patients Living with Advanced Cancer: Adapting an Early Palliative Care Intervention.
Funding Source: South Dakota State University, RSCA Challenge Fund. (7/1/2021-6/30/2022).

Varilek, Brandon (Principal Investigator).
Title: Assessing Palliative Care Knowledge Among Female Veterans with Serious Illness.
Funding Source: South Dakota State University, College of Nursing Seed Grant. (5/1/2021-4/30/2022).

Professional Memberships

Transcultural Nursing Society
Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society - Phi Chapter
American Nurses Association
South Dakota Nurses Association
National League of Nursing
Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association
The Society of Federal Health Professionals (AMSUS)
Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC) Group

Area(s) of Research

-Health Equity & Social Determinants of Health
-Chronic Disease Management (end-stage kidney disease)
-Kidney Transplantation
-American Indian/Native American Health
-Palliative and End of Life Care

Applications of Research

Varilek, B. M., Doyon, K., Vacek, S., & Isaacson, M. J. (2024). Palliative and end-of-life care interventions with minoritized populations in the US with serious illness: A scoping review. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®. Advance online publication.

Varilek, B. M., & Mollman, S. (2024). Healthcare professionals' perspectives of barriers to cancer care delivery for American Indian, rural, and frontier populations. PEC Innovation: Palliative, Hospice, and End-of-Life Special Issue, 4, 100247.

Varilek, B. M., & Isaacson, M. J. (2024). Coming to terms: Female Veterans’ experience of serious illness. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. Advance online publication.

Varilek, B. M., & Da Rosa, P. (2023). Analysis of palliative care knowledge and symptom burden among female veterans with serious illness: A cross-sectional study. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Advance Online Publication.

Seydel, A., Moutsoglou, N., Varilek, B. M., Minton, M., & Isaacson, M. J. (2022). Navigating disharmony: Nurses experiences providing end of life communication. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 24(6), 328-334.

Wiley, H. R. L., Varilek, B. M., Saucedo-Crespo, H., Sakpal, S. V., Auvenshine, C., Steers, J., Nelson, M. E., & Santella, R. N. (2021). Kidney transplant outcomes in Indigenous people of the Northern Great Plains of the United States. Transplant Proceedings, 53(6), 1872-1879.

Varilek, B. M., & Isaacson, M. J. (2021). Female Veteran use of palliative and hospice care: A scoping review. Military Medicine, 186(11-12), 1100-1105.

Varilek, B. M., & Isaacson, M. (2020). The dance of cystic fibrosis: Experiences of living with cystic fibrosis as an adult. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29(17-18), 3553-3564.

Minton, M. E., Isaacson, M. J., Varilek, B. M., Stadick, J. L., & O'Connell‐Persaud, S. (2018). A willingness to go there: Nurses and spiritual care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(1-2), 173-181.

Isaacson, M., Karel, B., Varilek, B. M., Steenstra, W. J., Tanis-Heyenga, J. P., & Wagner, A. (2015). Insights from health care professionals regarding palliative care options on South Dakota reservations. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(5), 473-479.



My Bibliography - NCBIWeb of Science ProfileORCID iD

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