As a pediatric oncologist, palliative care physician, and patient-reported outcomes and Phase I and end-of-life care clinical investigator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Dr. Baker is intimately aware of the distress experienced by children with advanced cancer and the communication and end-of-life/bereavement issues surrounding their disease progression.
Dr. Baker currently serves as the Chief of the Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care at St. Jude. He was a founding team member of the Quality of Life for All (QOLA) Service – the St. Jude palliative care team. Additionally, he founded and continues to lead the St. Jude Bereaved Parent Steering Council and Bereaved Parent Mentoring Program.
His research interests include communication and decision-making in advancing cancer, ethical considerations surrounding enrollment in Phase I clinical trials, palliative care in resource-constrained settings, grief and bereavement issues, integrating palliative care into the ongoing care of children with cancer as well as patient-reported outcomes and pain and symptom control in the context of pediatric oncology care. Dr. Baker is an internationally recognized physician-scientist (over 250 publications) with extensive research and clinical experience in communication skills training at the intersection of pediatric oncology and palliative care. He has overseen the implementation of more than 100 clinical research studies at SJCRH. Additionally, he has extensive experience with development and implementation of communication education, including the creation and dissemination, and publication of palliative care and communication skills trainings at the institution and on national and international platforms.
Dr. Baker has received many awards for his work including the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Award as well as being named an AAHPM Inspirational Leader in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
In summary, Dr. Baker is a recognized international expert and leader in the field of Pediatric Palliative Care as well as a highly sought-after speaker (see TEDx Memphis talk) and mentor with a track record of success.
Dr. Baker has been married to his college sweetheart (beautiful Monny from Monterrey, Mexico) for more than two decades and he and his wife are proud parents of four incredible children. An interesting fact about Dr. Baker is that he likely has more stuffed koala bears than any other individual on the planet, has a koala bobblehead, and has had numerous koalas “adopted” in his name.
Director, Quality of Life and Palliative Care
Attending Physician, QoLA Team (Quality of Life for All)
Medical Director, St. Jude Home Care, LLC
Co-director, St. Jude Global Palliative Care Program
Full Member, Department of Oncology
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 N Danny Thomas Place; Mail Stop 1121; Memphis, TN 38105
Phone: (901) 595-4446; Fax: (901) 521-9005