Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH, HEC-C

Associate Professor

Expertise: Advance Care Planning | Pediatrics | Palliative Care Clinical Ethics

Jennifer Needle

United States

Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH, HEC-C, is an Associate Professor in the Center for Bioethics and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. She earned her MD from Howard University in Washington DC, and a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Needle completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at the University Hospitals of Cleveland/Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her fellowship in Biomedical Ethics at the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Needle joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2013 after six years as an Assistant Professor for the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Critical Care, at Oregon Health & Science University. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in Critical Care and the American Board of Pediatrics. She has developed a national reputation as a leading early investigator in the field of pediatric palliative care and advance care planning.  She has been a PI or co-I on grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society studying Adolescent and Young Adult Advance Care Planning in Cancer and Bone Marrow Transplant. Her work has been published in Critical Care Medicine, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Palliative Medicine, and The Journal of Clinical Ethics. Her current academic focus is on reducing health disparities in pediatric palliative care. She is collaborating with the SoLaHmo Partnership for Health and Wellness to utilize a community-based participatory research approach to understand barriers and facilitators to pediatric palliative care in the Somali, Latino/a/x, and Hmong communities. Dr. Needle serves as the co-chair of the University of Minnesota Medical Center Ethics Committee, and co-lead for the clinical ethics consultation service for MHealth Fairview system hospitals.

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Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  • Needle JS, Friebert S, Thompkins JD, et al. Effect of the Family-Centered Advance Care Planning for Teens with Cancer Intervention on Sustainability of Congruence About End-of-Life Treatment Preferences: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(7):e2220696. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.20696
  • Needle J, Peden-McAlpine C, Liaschenko J, Boss R.  Stopping the Momentum of Clinical Cascades in the PICU: Intentional responses to the limits of medicine. Journal of Palliative Care, Online May 29, 2019 (in press).
  • Needle JS, Peden-McAlpine C, Liaschenko J. Physician perspectives on adolescent and young adult advance care planning: the fallacy of informed decision-making. Journal of Clinical Ethics 2019; Summer 30(2)131-142. 
  • Kamrath H*, George T, Stover-Haney R, Osterholm E,O’Conner-Von S, Needle J. Lasting Legacy: Maternal Perspectives of Perinatal Palliative Care.  Journal of Palliative Medicine 2019; 22(3) 310-315. 
  • Needle JS, Brunquell D, Lyon M, Heith C*.  Mature minors, mature decisions: Advance care planning for adolescent patients with life-limiting illness. Journal of Pediatric Ethics 2018; 1(3). 
  • Needle JS, Bjorklund A*, Gupta S. Considerations in Caring for Adult Patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care 2017;6: 77-82. 
  • Sveen W*, Sury M, Needle J. If Truth Be Told: Paternal Nondisclosure in Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection. Journal of Pediatric Ethics 2017; 1(1).
  • Needle JS, Smith AR. The Impact of Advance Directives on End-of-Life Care for Adolescents and Young Adults Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2016; 19(3) 300-305. 
  • Needle JS.  Ethical Challenges in Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant.  Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care 2014; 3 (3) 195-200. 
  • Needle JS, Mularski RA, Nguyen T, Fromme EK. Influence of personal preferences for life-sustaining treatment on medical decision making among pediatric intensivists. Critical Care Med 2012; 40(8) 2464-2469. 
  • Nakagawa, TA, Rigby MR, Bratton S; Shemie S; Ajizian SJ, Berkowitz, Ivor MD; Bowens CD, Cosio CC, Curley MA, Dhanani S, Dobyns E, Easterling L, Fortenberry JD, Helfaer MA, Kolovos NS, Koogler, T, Lebovitz DJ, Michelson K, Morrison W, Naim, MY, Needle J, Nelson B, Rotta AT, Rowin ME, Serrao K, Shore PM, Smith, S, Thompson AE, Vohra A, Weise K. A call for full public disclosure for donation after circulatory determination of death in children. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 2011; 12(3):375-377. 
  • Needle JS.  Home extubation by a pediatric critical care team: Providing a compassionate death outside the pediatric intensive care unit.  Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 2010; 11(3) 401-403. Impact factor: 3.092. Citations: 24. Role: Conducted literature search, manuscript preparation, manuscript editing, manuscript review Needle JS, O’Riordan MA, Smith, P. Parental Understanding of Children’s Life-Threatening Illness in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 2009; 10(6) 668-674. 
  • Needle JS, Anderson, M. Medical Emergency Teams: Are improved outcomes really like day and night? Critical Care Med 2006; 34(6) 1840-1 (editorial).