The 2014 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards in the mid-career category honor Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH, director of the Department of Medical Ethics and director of research for the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is recognized for his leadership in promoting better, more patient-driven care for children at the end of their lives, as well as to their families, at both Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the nation as a whole.
In nominating Dr. Feudtner, Ezekiel Emanuel, MSc, MD, PhD, Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, wrote that his “plural excellences – extraordinary success as a nationally recognized researcher and ethicist combined with exceptional face-to-face skills — make him, in my mind, the epitome of the kind of doctor all worried parents would want for their sick children and the embodiment of the clinical leader needed by complex health care organizations serving sick children and their families.”
Dr. Feudtner has received numerous awards for his teaching, mentoring, and research. He has published more than 180 articles and book chapters on pediatric health care; palliative, end-of-life, and bereavement care; health service use and quality; child outcomes; and medical ethics. He has also published a book, Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin, and theTransformation of Illness. Among his many research efforts, Dr. Feudtner helped establish the Pediatric Palliative Care Research Network, a network of leading researchers in the U.S. and Canada who work collectively on improving pediatric palliative care services.
“Chris excels in the most complex situations imaginable: helping parents and children cope with devastating, life-threatening illnesses; fostering agreement when family members differ on the course of care for a sick or dying child; providing support when frustration, grief, and anger overwhelm parents; and providing a ready ear and steady hand when staff members experience emotional exhaustion while caring for a dying child,” wrote Dr. Emanuel. “He recognizes the need for offering hope when possible while being candid when necessary. He is simply put, one of the most compassionate, intuitively on point, and stabilizing influences I have encountered in my three-decade professional career.”
Dr. Feudtner received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.