Justin Baker of St. Jude finalist for Schwartz Center’s National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award

Schwartz Center will announce winner in Boston Nov. 21.

Memphis, Tennessee, November 18, 2019

Justin Baker, M.D., chief of the Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care, and medical director of the Quality of Life for All team at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is one of six finalists for the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare’s 2019 National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award. 

The award, bestowed upon a health care professional who makes a profound difference through their unmatched dedication to compassionate care, is given annually by The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. This year’s recipient will be announced Nov. 21 at the 24th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston. The dinner kicks off the 25th anniversary of the Schwartz Center.

“We are honored to recognize these inspirational individuals at the Schwartz Center’s NCCY Award Finalists,” said Matt Herndon, CEO of the Schwartz Center. “Through their dedication to the compassionate delivery of care, they embody the values on which the Schwartz Center was founded nearly 25 years ago and show the path forward for healthcare.”

Baker joined St. Jude in 2004 as a fellow in pediatric hematology/oncology. He became a faculty member in 2007. Baker earned his medical degree from the University of. Texas Science Center in San Antonio. He was nominated for the award by two members of the bereaved parents mentor group and a member of the QoLA team at St. Jude.

The QoLA team at St. Jude focuses on making every day for patients and their families as happy and full of life as possible. The bereaved parents mentor group works with doctors and health care staff, educating them on how to best deliver bad news to patients and their families in a compassionate way. Baker is frequently asked to speak on that topic nationally and internationally.

“This gives us an opportunity to highlight some of the innovative and amazing work we are doing here at St. Jude, including the early integration of quality of life/palliative care strategies, our integrative medicine work and our cutting-edge bereavement parent mentoring program,” Baker said. “Compassion means ‘to suffer with,’ and walking alongside these patients and families in a compassionate way truly is why I believe I was placed here on earth. It is such a blessing to work at St. Jude, where we can support our patients and families with the very best in care. It is an incredible honor and privilege to be chosen as a finalist for the Schwartz Center NCCY Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award.”

Joining Baker as finalists for the 2019 NCCY Award are: Joanne B. Glusman, MSW, LSW, APHSW-C, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Main Line Health, Bryn Mawr, PA; Elizabeth T. Heyne, PA-C, PsyD, Children’s Health, Dallas, TX; Jude Ierardi, RT, (R) (CT) (MR), St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Boston; Sophia L. Maurasse, MD, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA  and Kari Rosenkranz, M.D. Dartmouth Medical Lebanon, New Hampshire.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.