Skip to main content

Our Palliative Care Team

Palliative Care is integrated throughout Children’s Mercy. PaCT met its first patient in May 2002, and continues to grow. In 2021 we consulted on >300 new pediatric patients, met >100 women in the Fetal Health Center for prenatal palliative care, and maintained longitudinal relationships with ~650 infants, children and adolescents.

The core Palliative Care Team (PaCT) includes four Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship-trained physicians and six certified hospice and palliative nurses. We work collaboratively with Child Life, Spiritual Services, Social Work, Psychology, and the Aftercare Program.

Children’s Mercy partnered with University of Kansas Medical Center to welcome our first pediatric fellow in 2016. The pediatric fellow joins three adult fellows to create a cohort of four learners per fellowship year.

Your clinical experience

This well-rounded fellowship incorporates unique learning from all four of the sponsoring sites: Children’s Mercy, The University of Kansas Health System, Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, and Kansas City VA Medical Center. The pediatric HPM fellow spends most of their clinical time at Children’s Mercy.

More about your clinical experience and rotations

Academic curriculum

Thursday morning didactic time is protected for the four HPM fellows. In addition to covering core HPM topics, didactics include four series:

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • Geripal (interdisciplinary ethics case discussion)
  • Board Prep
  • Journal Club

Fellows also experience both high- and low-fidelity simulation.

Fellows receive mentorship for presenting a Geripal case and two didactic core topics each year.

More about the academic curriculum

Research and scholarship

Each HPM fellow is expected to complete a minimum of one scholarly project during the course of the fellowship year. Fellows must also prepare and submit one case abstract for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Annual Assembly.

Abstracts presented

Rouchou B, Sharma N, Vogt D, Jersak T. Standardization and Implementation of Advance Care Planning Documentation in the Electronic Medical Record. Poster presentation. Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day. Conference; May 2023.

Rouchou B, Jersak T, Linebarger J. Becoming More Common: Managing an Uncommon Diagnosis with Unexpected Barriers. Poster presentation: American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Annual Assembly; March 2023. 

White K, Ellis K, Sommer D. Brain death and Islam: Acceptable or not? Poster presentation: American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Virtual Conference; March 2021

Tucker M, Ellis K, Linebarger J. A unique model for perinatal palliative care in a level IV neonatal intensive care unit. Platform Presentation: Pediatric Academic Society. Baltimore, MD; April 2019

Navaneethan H, Linebarger J. Executing Simon’s Law: a case report of a neonate with trisomy 18. Poster Presentation: American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Orlando, Florida; November 2018

Navaneethan H, Linebarger J. Evaluation of a palliative care transport policy: A retrospective chart review of the first 5 years. Poster Presentation: Pediatric Academic Society. Toronto, Ontario; May 2018

Apply for the program

Applications for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS). The fellowship program participates in the NRMP Medical Specialties Match. To find the Pediatric HPM Fellowship, look for the following NRMP Program ID: 1208540F1

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship leadership team

Lori Olson, MD
Program Director

Emily Hansen, DO
Associate Program Director

Taylor Jersak, MD
Pediatric Site Director

Cheryl Jacobson
Fellowship Coordinator
(913) 588-0348