The 2011 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards in the early-career physician category honor Savithri Nageswaran, MBBS, MPH, director of the pediatric palliative care program at Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

In 2008, Dr. Nageswaran developed the first pediatric palliative care program at Brenner Children’s Hospital. More than 200 children have received care from the program. She also conducts research on improving the health care of children with complex chronic conditions and works with multiple community agencies to improve communication between hospital-based and community-based providers. In addition, she teaches pediatric palliative care to medical students and resident physicians.

Dr. Nageswaran “is knowledgeable and skillful; compassionate to children and their families; and intellectually curious – characteristics that make her a role model for residents and medical students,” wrote Dr. Jon S. Abramson, Weston M. Kelsey Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in nominating her for the award.

“I appreciate the passion that she has about palliative care and its benefits to the patients,” wrote a Wake Forest medical student who supported Dr. Nageswaran’s nomination. “She cares about the well being, the comfort, and psychological care of the family and patients. It is very important that we encounter physicians who care about their patients and want to do what is best for them despite their prognosis.”

Dr. Nageswaran received her MBBS (the equivalent of a medical degree) from Kilpauk Medical College in India in 1991. She trained as a pediatric resident at Wake Forest and as a preventive medicine resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also earned an MPH.