Our Team

Section Chief

As the inaugural Section Chief of Palliative Care at Texas Children’s Hospital, I see the fundamental importance of treating distressing symptoms experienced by children and parents, understanding how parents, patients and care providers make medical decisions as disease changes, finding the best…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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Attending Physicians

Dr. Jessica Casas' passion for influencing positive change and alleviating suffering guides her career goals that include integrating her work as a clinical oncologist with the development of a palliative care program. She strives to help other medical professionals become more familiar and…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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Dr Jarrell believes in a holistic approach to caring for patients and families and relies on an inter-disciplinary team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of wellness and illness.  She strives for good communication with patients and families as well as with other…
Phone: 832-822-3436 (Complex Care) | 832-822-7228 (Palliative Care)

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As a dual trained critical care and palliative care physician, I am dedicated to a holistic approach to medicine that includes high quality, patient and family centered care. I am passionate about primary palliative care education, debriefing and physician wellness.  Clinical Interests:…
Phone: 832-826-6230 (Critical Care) | 832-822-2778 (Palliative Care)

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No child or family should suffer needlessly as a result of their medical conditions. Clinical Interests Pain and Symptom Management, Ethics, Shared Medical Decision Making Research Interests Pain Management, Bereavement, Narrative Medicine
Phone: 832-822-7228

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I am a pediatric intensivist also certified in Palliative Medicine, which focuses on the care of seriously ill children, their families, and their medical teams. It is a privilege to provide direct care to these children and families as part of an outstanding multidisciplinary team, and to support…
Phone: 832-824-1000 (Critical Care) | 832-822-7228 (Palliative Care)

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I believe that every child deserves thoughtful, compassionate, person-centered healthcare. Clinical Interests: Communication, pain symptom management, and shared decision making. Research Interests: Medical education, communication, public understanding of healthcare.
Phone: 832-822-7228

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Palliative Care Nursing

I am passionate about ensuring that every patient and their family has equal access to high-quality, culturally sensitive, and compassionate palliative care. I am also committed to debunking the myths associated with palliative care, in order to facilitate proper utilization of our team and the…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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Melody Hellsten is an experienced pediatric oncology and pediatric hospice nurse practitioner who has been board certified as a hospice and pediatric palliative care nurse.  She specializes in pediatric palliative care and is a member of the Palliative Care Program at Texas Children's Hospital.…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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I am passionate about providing comfort and enhancing quality of life for children with chronic and life limiting conditions. I enjoy working in two sections that allow me to focus on helping children live better for longer. Clinical Interests: I like teaching effective communication skills for…
Phone: 346-257-9942 (Direct Line) | 832-822-7228 (Clinic)

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Pain and symptom management is one of the cornerstones to good pediatric palliative care.  As a nurse practitioner I see my role as a clinician and educator in helping managing pain and other difficult symptoms during the course of a child’s illness. Clinical Interests:    Pain and Symptom…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Team

Shannon Barnes, LMSW has been a social worker since 2007 and has worked with patients of every age and stage in life. Her most recent experience includes working with patients and families in the PICU at Texas Children’s hospital prior to joining the Palliative Care Team. The most important thing…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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My practice is driven by two core social work values: recognizing the dignity and worth of each person and emphasizing the importance of human relationships. I approach each patient holistically with consideration of their unique family systems to better understand their quality of life goals. My…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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Palliative Care Administration

Phone: 832-822-7228

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I believe that everyone should serve as if they were a leader. Serving as a leader is to be inspiring, to be creative, and to have a complete vision of the objective, with the willingness to perform any task to reach the common goal. In essence, leading by example, and applying ethical principals…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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Research

Through research I have come to understand and value the importance of compassion, comfort and communication especially when working with children and their families. I believe that we can improve the delivery of our healthcare system, and thus create a more positive and holistic environment for…
Phone: 832-822-7228

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