• Researcher Profile

    Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPH

    Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPH
    Division Chief, Pediatric Palliative Care Service, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
    Director, Pediatric Palliative Care, Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital
    Institute Physician

    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School


    Pediatric Palliative Care

    Office phone: 617-632-5286
    Fax: 617-632-2270
    Email: joanne_wolfe@dfci.harvard.edu

    Preferred contact method: email

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    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Population Sciences


    Palliative care

    Area of Research

    Care of Children with Advanced Cancer

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Dana 2-012
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Joanne Wolfe is the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Palliative Care in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the Director of Palliative Care at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), and is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.  She holds an MD degree (1990) from Harvard Medical School and an MPH (1998) from the Harvard School of Public Health.  The Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), the palliative care service which she directs, received a 2001 Citation of Honor from the American Hospital Association’s Circle of Life Awards program for its innovative approach to caring for children with life-threatening illness.

    Recent Awards

    • American Cancer Society Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award, 2013
    • Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Finalist, 2003, 2009
    • Citation of Honor, Circle of Life Award, 2001


    Care of Children with Advanced Cancer

    Dr Wolfe’s research is focused on easing suffering and promoting wellbeing in children with serious illness and their families. Using PediQUEST, a computerized data collection system, she completed a multicentered randomized trial aimed at assessing the effect of routinely providing child-reported symptom and quality-of-life feedback to clinicians and families. She found that feedback promotes child psychological wellbeing. PediQUEST is now web-based and is useful in all care settings, including home. Using this adaptation, she will study a strengthened intervention, PediQUEST Champions, adding a clinician whose mandate it is to respond to child distress. She also mentors junior investigators focusing on additional domains of distress including financial hardship, the stem cell transplant experience and resilience. Finally, she co-directs an emerging pediatric palliative care research network, “Peppercorn”.


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