Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Pediatrics

Palliative Care

The Pediatric Palliative Care Division of the Department of Pediatrics includes faculty members focusing exclusively on palliative care, as well as others shared with the Divisions of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation; Pediatric Critical Care Medicine,; and Neonatology.  We have an additional faculty member (Ph.D. psychologist) shared with Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  Fourth year medical students can arrange a two or four week clinical rotation with our team at Lurie Children’s Hospital. 


Our training, and clinical program, focuses on:

  1. Symptom management for Lurie patients with serious medical conditions
  2. Psychological and spiritual support for family members with an emphasis on assisting with difficult decisions, including decision to continue or limit cure-oriented or life-supporting treatments

We have a post-residency clinical fellowship (“pediatric track’) in hospice and palliative medicine that we share with the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University’s adult Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship, through Department of Medicine.

We provide clinical rotations for pediatrics residents and medical students.  In the clinical setting, trainees have the opportunity to observe and, where appropriate, participate in sensitive and difficult communications regarding the care of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.  Trainees also learn to overcome fears associated with myths about the dangers of adequate pain management in children.

Lurie Children’s Hospital residents have developed and carried out research projects with faculty focused on parental decision making.


Division faculty members have a distinguished track record conducting and publishing research regarding parental perceptions of care and decision making, especially for critically ill newborns and older children.  We have begun a collaboration with a pediatrician-pharmacologist at University of Illinois at Chicago and will soon initiate a clinical trial regarding the prevention and treatment of opioid-induced constipation.  Our psychologist is beginning a program of research on children with chronic pain.

Patient Care

Feinberg faculty members provide care services our affiliated hospitals, including Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Learn more about  Palliative Care at Lurie Children's.

Joel Frader, MD

Joel E. Frader, MD
Division Head,
Palliative Care