Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care


Quality of Life

Director

Justin Baker, MD, FAAP, FAAHPM


Divisional Focus

Our mission in the Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care is to provide each child living with or dying from a catastrophic illness with state of the art patient and family-centered physical, emotional and spiritual care with the goal of attending to suffering, promoting healing and improving quality of life.

Our Quality of Life Service (pediatric palliative care team) provides initial consultations and follow up encounters in the ICU, inpatient wards, ACU/clinics and home-based settings (including local St Jude housing). We also provide consultations to each of the general clinical services at St Jude including infectious disease, hematology, oncology (leukemia/lymphoma, solid tumor and brain tumor), radiation oncology and ACT (After Completion of Treatment) patients. The high quality services we provide led to the receipt of the 2010 St Jude Clinical Improvement Award. We are also working toward the creation of a city-wide community-based quality of life and palliative care program in collaboration with Methodist Alliance, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics at UTHSC. Members of the Quality of Life Service currently provide high quality palliative and home-based care for St Jude patients through Methodist Alliance Home Health and Hospice as fully integrated members of their team.

Education is a key priority for the division. We developed a curriculum to teach basic palliative care concepts to our clinical staff and faculty. The seminar is offered throughout the year and is required for all St Jude nursing staff. We also participate actively in St Jude educational activities – tumor board, leukemia/lymphoma conference, fellows’ rounds, grand rounds, etc., with the purpose to integrate palliative care content and enhance the level of palliative care knowledge for all members of the institution. Additionally, we are working toward the creation of a Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship training program.

Our staff is actively engaged in establishing state of the art research protocols that integrate palliative care practices into the mainstream of care at St. Jude, utilizing the Individualized Care Planning and Coordination (ICPC) model we developed. We are currently conducting research studies in each of the ICPC care processes. We are conducting additional research efforts in the areas of ethical decision making and Phase I informed consent as well as palliative care education research.

We continue to work diligently toward our vision of becoming an international leader and resource for integrating pediatric palliative care into the ongoing care of seriously ill children, their families and the staff caring for them while setting a high standard of excellence in patient care, education, research, and advocacy beyond the walls of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Contact Us

Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Mail Stop 260
Memphis, TN 38105-3678

Email: justin.baker@stjude.org
Phone: 901-595-4446
Fax 901-595-9005

Preferred contact method: email


Faculty

Justin Baker, MD  Pediatric palliative and end of life care

Deena R. Levine, MD  Pediatric palliative and end of life care


Quality of Life and Palliative Care Staff

Angela Snyder, RN, PNP – Quality of Life Specialist

Karen Williams, RN, FNP – Quality of Life Specialist

Deborah Gibson, MA – Clinical Research Associate

Gunda Johnson – Administrative Specialist