Claire Ankuda, MD, MPH

Claire Ankuda, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the department of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She conducts health services research to assess how payment policies, and in particular Medicare policy, impact outcomes for seriously ill older adults and their families. 

As a family medicine physician board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine, Dr. Ankuda’s clinical work focuses on relieving the suffering experienced by patients with serious illness.  Both her research and clinical work involve interdisciplinary teams who address the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of both patient and family.

Dr. Katharine Brock, MD, MS

Dr. Katharine Brock, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, with her efforts primarily devoted to being a pediatric palliative oncologist. Dr. Brock earned her medical degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, followed by residency training in pediatrics at the University of Colorado, Pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Stanford University and Pediatric Hospice & Palliative Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. While at Stanford, she completed a Masters in epidemiology and clinical research as well as a fellowship in medical education. She is the Director of the Supportive Care Clinic at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, where she provides outpatient consultation and follow-up visits two half-days per week for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and their families. Since its inception in 2017, Supportive Care has helped over 150 children with cancer and their families. Dr. Brock is also an attending physician on the inpatient Pediatric Palliative Care team (Pediatric Advanced Care Team, PACT, Interim Director: Khaliah Johnson, MD). 

Dr. Brock is currently the Vice-Chair (incoming chair (2020-2021)) of the Palliative Care Special Interest Group for the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, the Co-Chair of the Palliative Care Working Group for the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium, and was a American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) planning committee member for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Supportive Care in Oncology meeting.

One of Dr. Brock’s primary loves is teaching and mentoring. She is currently the co-director of the Pediatric Communication Series where she and the other members of PACT train residents, ICU and oncology fellows in best-practice communication techniques using simulation. Along with Meghan Tracewski, CPNP, they have developed over 40 simulation-based communication scenarios for fellows. For this work, she has received teaching awards and distinction from the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and the Emory University School of Medicine. She continues to actively mentor multiple medical students and residents, multiple of whom are/will be Chief Residents, and three of whom recently matched to palliative care and pediatric oncology! Rising stars in their own right. 

Meaghann Weaver, MD, MPH, FAAP

Meaghann Weaver, MD, MPH, FAAP, currently serves as division chief, Pediatric Palliative Care at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She graduated from Creighton University Summa Cum Laude with a major in theology
and a co-major in African studies. Meaghann thought she would become a linguistic anthropologist but instead entered medicine, which she describes as “a form of humanistic anthropology as we gather narratives and help families make meaning even during times of illness”. 

After attending medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, she completed her pediatric residency in Virginia and then completed a pediatric oncology/hematology fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with additional research training at DC Children’s National Health Systems. Dr. Weaver received her public health degree (global health epidemiology) from George Washington University. She then completed palliative care and hospice fellowships at the National Institutes of Health. Her academic interests include health equity, family theory and decisional-paradigms as impacts goals of care, complex symptom management, spirituality, anticipatory grief and bereavement, and implementation science. 

Dr. Weaver is deeply committed to team science and interdisciplinary team care, citing the ways in which her palliative care social work, chaplain, nursing, massage therapy, and Healing Touch teammates daily inspire her continued work in the field. Dr. Weaver emphasizes that her team’s ability to reach across a rural state with creative programmatic interventions for children with complex, chronic, and critical illness is a testimony to the values and virtues of her teammates. Dr Weaver’s pediatric palliative care team, the Hand in Hand team, received the Circle of Life Citation of Honor in 2019 from the American Hospital Association for their caring work with children with life-limiting diagnoses and their families. 

Dr Weaver served as Co-Chair of the Society of International Pediatric Oncology Palliative Care Working Group, which allowed her to foster a global network of shared palliative efforts and energies specifically focused on partnerships with teams in low- and middle-income settings. Dr Weaver shares that the kindness, passion, and collaborations of her palliative partners and mentors across time zones inspires and energizes her ongoing work in the field.