Nurturing Future Leaders: The McElhattan Foundation and Pediatric Palliative Care

When families learn that their child’s condition will require significant long-term care, the Division of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh provides counseling and resources for the best care options to consider for their child. For those heartbreaking moments when a family is faced with a terminal diagnosis and must prepare for the unthinkable, the division is also there to provide palliative care, assist with end-of-life decision-making, and offer bereavement support for caregivers and siblings.

Despite being a vital and life-changing service, many services provided by palliative medicine and supportive care are not reimbursable — meaning they are not covered by insurance and require philanthropic support.

That’s where donors like the McElhattan Foundation come in – to provide funding for resources and staffing to ensure every family is supported fully and wholeheartedly, every step of the way.

Celebrating Success

The McElhattan Foundation believes it is possible for most people to have a higher quality of life at the end of life. They seek visionary leaders and strong teams who will create dramatic, measurable improvement in how patients and their families experience end of life care.

Recently, the McElhattan Foundation funded the division’s fourth fellowship match, during which division leadership, including division chief Scott Maurer, MD, conducted a nationwide search for their 2024-25 fellow. Dr. Maurer explains that, for this role, the division was seeking candidates who demonstrated a commitment to furthering development in palliative care, both in Pittsburgh and across the country.

Dr. Aditi Jain – A Future Leader in Pediatric Palliative Care

Through the extensive match process, the division chose Aditi Jain, MD, who serves as the chief resident at UPMC Children’s. After being inspired by the division’s work, Dr. Jain chose palliative medicine as a career because she feels it is a “privilege…to take care of patients and families in their most vulnerable moments” and because the specialty “treats patients as people first.”

Her career goal is to become a medical educator who teaches other doctors how to perform intentional, empathic communication while practicing palliative care clinically.

The division chose Dr. Jain because of her potential to bring her passion and dedication to the field of supportive care and palliative medicine, as well as her dedication to kids in the Pittsburgh community.

A Shared Vision for a Healthy Future

The McElhattan Foundation stands on the forefront of championing compassionate care for children facing life-limiting illnesses. Through their strategic backing, the foundation has played a key role in fostering the growth and development of the division at UPMC Children’s. It is thanks to their unwavering support that dedicated individuals, like Dr. Jain, can be identified and nurtured as passionate fellows. The McElhattan Foundation and UPMC Children’s share a commitment to cultivating the next generation of leaders within the pediatric palliative care space. This collective dedication serves as the cornerstone for unparalleled and compassionate support for every family, achieving the groundbreaking care and treatment that every child deserves.