• Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) - Palliative Care Program

    The Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), our nationally-recognized palliative care service, provides an extra layer of support — healing, comfort and quality of life — to the care of children with serious illness and their families.

    The Pediatric Advanced Care Team consults with families and primary care teams to bring together information and guidance needed to make the best health care decisions for each child.

    Our services include: 

    • Easing pain and managing symptoms and side effects
    • Fostering communication between families and health care providers
    • Coordinating inpatient, outpatient, and homecare services

    We include experts from a wide variety of disciplines to care for your child. Our care team includes: 

    • Physicians with advanced training in palliative care
    • A nurse practitioner with extensive experience providing pediatric palliative care
    • A social worker with expertise in emotional support and community resources
    • Dedicated spiritual care services
    • Other pediatric specialists as needed

    We consider you and your child to be integral parts of the care team and not simply recipients of care. We work closely with you to customize a plan of care for your child.

    Our Services

    The PACT has served as a model program for pediatric institutions around the United States. Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPH, our Division Chief and medical director, is nationally recognized for her pediatric palliative care expertise.

    Wolfe and other members of the team participate in regional and national efforts to improve care for children with advanced illness.

    The PACT's services include:


    PACT members will work closely with your child, family, and primary care team to develop a comprehensive quality-of-life care plan. We do not replace your child's primary care team; rather, we support treatment of the illness and at the same time strive for optimal quality of life.

    During your consultation, we will evaluate factors such as your child's feelings and health, your family's needs, and the care team's medical plan in order to make the best possible recommendations. Our clinicians can meet with your child and family at the hospital, at one of our outpatient facilities, or at your home.


    Our team members want your child and family to make educated decisions. We are available to talk with you and provide educational resources on a variety of topics, including communication and decision-making, pain and symptom management, palliative care, hospice and home care, family dynamics, sibling issues, school interactions, and spiritual concerns.


    It's important that your child and family have support both at the hospital and when you return home. We can help identify supportive agencies and community-based organizations. In addition, we can provide emotional and psychosocial support, and help arrange end-of-life care when necessary.

    A consultation can be arranged at any time during your child's treatment. Our team is available to provide consultation 24 hours a day.

    The Care Team

    Our staff of compassionate and experienced pediatric specialists includes clinicians and other healthcare providers with expertise in palliative care, symptom management, complementary medicine, and interfaith spiritual care.

    Our clinicians are focused on family-centered care. From your first visit, you'll work with a team of professionals who are committed to supporting your family's physical and emotional needs.

    • Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPHDivision Chief of Pediatric Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Director of Palliative Care at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH)
    • Richard Goldstein, MD  Attending Physician
    • Emma Jones, MD  Attending Physician
    • Shih-Ning Liaw, MD, FAAP  Attending Physician
    • Christina Ullrich, MD, MPH  Attending Physician
    • Janet Duncan, RN, MSN, CPNP  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (founding NP for PACT)
    • Rachael Menius, MSN, CPNP-AC, CPON  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Marsha Joselow, LICSW, MSW  Clinical Social Worker and Pediatric Palliative Care Social Work Fellowship Director
    • Nicholas Purol, LICSW, MSW  Clinical Social Worker
    • Rita Fountain  Practice Coordinator

    Video: Palliative Care for Children with Cancer

    This video from the American Cancer Society shares how the pediatric palliative care team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's is helping children with cancer survive and thrive.


    Contact Us

    Our team is available by page 24 hours a day.

    To call the Dana-Farber page operator, dial 1-617-632-3352 and ask for the clinician by name or the PACT clinician on call.

    To call the Boston Children's Hospital page operator, dial 1- 617-355-6000 and ask for the clinician by name.

    For non-urgent matters Monday-Friday, please call 1-617-632-5042 during regular business hours or email Rita Fountain at rita_fountain@dfci.harvard.edu. If you are unable to reach us at this number or through email, please use the paging instructions above.

    Mailing address 

    Pediatric Advanced Care Team

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    450 Brookline Avenue, SW 411

    Boston, MA 02215

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