Section Leadership

The AAP Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine is led by an Executive Committee that reflects the diversity of the field’s interdisciplinary nature. Read the following bios to learn more about the Executive Committee.

Executive Committee

Brian Carter, MD, FAAP
Chairperson
Kansas City, MO

Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD
Program Chair
Philadelphia, PA

Julie Hauer, MD, FAAP
Cambridge, MA

Jeffrey Klick, MD, FAAP
Atlanta, GA

Kelly Komatz, MD, MPH, FAAP
Jacksonville, FL

Jennifer Linebarger, MD, MPH, FAAP
Kansas City, MO

Sarah Friebert, MD, FAAP
Immediate Past Chairperson
Akron, OH



Brian Carter, MD, FAAP
Dr. Carter is a neonatologist with expertise in ethics and palliative care. He joined the faculty and staff at Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH) in the summer of 2012, relocating from Nashville, TN where he had been on the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center for 13 years. He spends 50% of his time with the CMH Bioethics Center and serves on the hospital’s ethics committee and as a core faculty member of the Pediatric Bioethics Certificate Course. His clinical responsibilities include attending in the NICU at CMH and Truman Medical Center, the NICU Follow-up Special Care Clinic, and the Fetal Health Center at CMH. His work has largely been focused at the intersection of clinical neonatology, ethics and palliative care. He has been involved with the Initiative for Pediatric palliative Care (IPPC), Children’s Hospice International and the NHPCO – receiving the NHPCO Clinical Research Award in 2003. Brian was also honored to deliver the William Silverman lecture at the 2008 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. He has worked to advance the field of pediatric palliative care in general, and perinatal palliative care in particular. He has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and is a contributing author and editor of Palliative Care for Infants, Children and Adolescents (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004; now in its 2nd edition, 2011).  

Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP
Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH is a pediatrician, epidemiologist, historian, and ethicist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania who focuses on improving the lives of children with complex chronic conditions and their families.  He is the Director of the Department of Medical Ethics, and holds the Steven D. Handler Endowed Chair of Medical Ethics at CHOP, where he is also an attending physician and director of research for both the Pediatric Advance Care Team (which provides palliative, end-of-life, and bereavement services) and the Integrated Care Service (which cares for hospitalized children with chronic conditions and technology-dependent health care needs). 

He has published over 100 studies, articles, and chapters regarding pediatric palliative care, epidemiology, health service use and quality, child outcomes, and medical ethics, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, and the National Library of Medicine.  As a historian of medicine, Dr Feudtner authored a book on the history of diabetes in America, entitled Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin, and the Transformation of Illness (University of North Carolina Press, 2003).  In the field of medical ethics, Dr Feudtner has worked on understanding medical student ethical development, the interface of ethics and public health policy regarding immunizations and the care of children with complex chronic conditions and he has examined the ways that heuristics and habits can shape or bias behavior.

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Julie Hauer, MD, FAAP
Julie Hauer, MD is focused on the palliative care needs of children and young adults with severe neurological impairment. Her clinical interests include symptom management of nonverbal children with impairment of the central nervous system, including “neuro-irritability”, gastrointestinal symptoms (retching, feeding intolerance), and dyspnea during respiratory exacerbations. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 

Following pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota, Julie was a primary care pediatrician for 2 years before joining Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, where she cared for children with neurological impairment from 1995-2009. Her clinical work included both inpatient and outpatient care, and was later expanded to include palliative care. She completed a fellowship in pediatric palliative care at Boston Children’s Hospital from July 2006 – June 2007. Following completion, she returned to Minnesota as the medical director of pediatric palliative care at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. She returned to Boston in 2009 with my husband. Her work has included consultation with palliative care and complex care programs involved in the care of this group of children. In 2011, she started work as the medical director of a long-term care facility for children and young adults with severe neurological impairment and associated complex care needs. She has a faculty appointment at Boston Children’s Hospital in the division of general pediatrics. She has recently completed a book on the medical and palliative care needs of children and young adults with severe neurological impairment, to be published in 2013 by Johns Hopkins Press.

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Jeffrey Klick, MD, FAAP
Jeffrey Klick, MD is the Medical Director of Palliative Care at the Children’s at Scottish Rite hospital campus in Atlanta, GA. He received his education and training medical degree at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA and completed his residency at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Klick is board certified in both Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative Care.

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Kelly Komatz, MD, MPH, FAAP
Dr. Komatz has been providing hospice and palliative care for the past seven years and became
board certified in 2010 – one of about 100 pediatricians nationwide with that certification. She
works for Community PedsCare, a program of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida in
collaboration with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Clinic and University of
Florida–Jacksonville. She is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida-Jacksonville in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Community and Societal Pediatrics where she s pecializes in Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Dr. Komatz receieved her
medical education from State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. She completed her residency at Pediatrics, Naval Regional Medical Center in Oakland, CA and her fellowship at Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. Her clinical special interests are pediatric complex chronic care and pediatric chronic pain management.

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Jenni Linebarger, MD, MPH, FAAP
Jenni Linebarger, MD, MPH is the Medical Director of Children Mercy Hospital's Pediatric Advanced Comfort Care Team in Kansas City, MO.  She completed her pediatric residency, adolescent medicine fellowship, and masters of public health at the University of Rochester Medical Center after which she went on to complete a pediatric palliative care fellowship at Children's Hospital Boston. She has served in various leadership positions within the American Academy of Pediatrics including as Chair of the Section on Medical Students, Residents, and Fellowship Trainees.  She has written and presented on various topics related to pediatric palliative care including at the AAP National Conference and Exhibition, the Annual Assembly of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine.

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Sarah Friebert, MD, FAAP
Sarah Friebert, MD, is a nationally-recognized expert in pediatric palliative care. At Akron Children’s Hospital, she is responsible for creating and directing the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Division, as well as practicing pediatric hematology/oncology. The Haslinger Center is one of the largest pediatric programs in the country and it serves patients and families with life-threatening illness by providing interdisciplinary team care from diagnosis through bereavement. In 2008 the Center was selected as a Palliative Care Leadership Center for the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

Dr Friebert received her medical training at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine. She completed her residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and her fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr Friebert is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric hematology/oncology, and hospice and palliative medicine. Dr Friebert also serves as Consulting Pediatric Medical Director for Hospice of the Western Reserve. She is the founder and Chair of the Ohio Pediatric Palliative and End-of-life Network (OPPEN), a statewide coalition representing pediatric hospice and palliative care providers. 

Dr Friebert is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine, and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and a member of the Board of Directors, and a consulting physician to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

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