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Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPH

Palliative Medicine

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  • Division Chief, Pediatric Palliative Care Service, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
  • Director, Pediatric Palliative Care, Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital
  • Institute Physician
  • Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School


Clinical Interests

  • Pediatric palliative care
  • Symptom management

Contact Information

  • Appointments617-632-5042
  • Office Phone Number617-632-5286
  • Fax617-582-7271


Dr. Joanne Wolfe is the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Palliative Care in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the Director of Palliative Care at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH), and is a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She holds an MD degree (1990) from Harvard Medical School and an MPH (1998) from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), the palliative care service that 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 illnesses.

Board Certification:

  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 2008
  • Palliative Medicine, 2004
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Pediatrics


  • Boston Children's Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology


  • Boston Combined Residency Program, Boston Children's Hospital/Boston Medical Center, Pediatrics

Medical School:

  • Harvard Medical School

Recent Awards:

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


Dr. Wolfe's research is focused on easing suffering and promoting well-being in children with serious illnesses 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 well-being. PediQUEST is now web-based and is useful in all care settings, including the 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."

Research Departments:


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