Palliative Care and End-of-Life

The Palliative Care and End-of-Life Special Interest Group (SIG) promotes the interests of students, trainees, and professionals in pediatric psychology with clinical, research, education, and advocacy interests in pediatric palliative care (PPC), end-of-life care, and grief. We aim to address the unique clinical challenges and learning needs of pediatric psychologists through the goals of:

  • Awareness: We promote awareness among SPP members about the breadth and depth of PPC, the growing roles for pediatric psychologists within PPC, clinical practices, policies, research, and more.
  • Research: We promote professional development and evidence-based practice by disseminating the latest interdisciplinary PPC research to SIG members, coordinating collaborative research efforts, and seeking and sharing opportunities for SIG research to be showcased within and outside of SPP.
  • Networking and Collaboration: We facilitate cross-institutional communication about program development and infrastructure, in order to promote increased integration of psychology into palliative care services across the nation.
  • Education and Training: We promote and offer specialized learning opportunities within PPC and end-of-life care (e.g., webinars, continued education, etc) for professionals across the career span and support students and trainees in their professional development as future pediatric psychologists and PPC providers.
  • Self-Care: We provide a supportive network of professionals working with critically ill and dying children, as a means of promoting self-care as a professional competency.

For additional information and resources related to the SIG, please visit our SIG website.
Also, please check out the Division 54 Fact Sheet on Palliative Care and Grief/Bereavement.

Leadership team

Amanda L. Thompson, PhD, SIG co-Chair
Chief, Pediatric Psychology and Director of Pediatric Programs
Life with Cancer, Inova Schar Cancer Institute, Fairfax, VA

Rachel A. Kentor, PhD, SIG co-Chair
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Psychologist, Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX

Claire Russell, PhD, SIG member at large for Education and training
Pediatric Psychologist, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH

Molly Gardner, PhD, SIG member at large for Research
Pediatric Psychologist, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH

Sarah McCarthy, PhD, MPH SIG member at large for Research
Pediatric Psychologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Megan Schaefer, PhD, SIG member at large for Research, and Student representative
Postdoctoral Fellow, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

Juliana Yanguas, PsyD, SIG student representative
Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Jarred V. Gallegos, PhD, SIG student representative
Pediatric Psychology Fellow, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Contact Us

Send an email request to

To Join

SPP invites members with a shared interest to consider joining one or more Special Interest Groups (SIGs) by logging into the Member Portal and going to "Join a SIG/RIG/Affinity Group" on the dropbox.