Harvard Medical SchoolCenter for Palliative Care

Our Mission

The Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care (HMS CPC) aims to ease suffering and enhance the quality of care for patients and their families dealing with life-threatening and/or serious illness, through fostering leadership and supporting outstanding educational programs in palliative care. By educating future generations of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals, the Center serves as a national and international resource for the best practices in palliative care education and practice.


Join Our Mailing List

Follow us on Twitter

J. Andrew BillingsJ. Andrew Billings, MD

Former Director, Palliative Care Service, Massachusetts General Hospital

Co-Investigator, Serious Illness Care Program, Ariadne Labs

Co-Director, Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Educational and Professional Experience


BA Amherst College


MD Harvard Medical School


Straight Medical Intern, San Francisco General Hospital


Medical Resident and Elective Fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine, University of California, San Francisco Hospitals


Fellow in Adult Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston


Staff Physician, MGH Chelsea Memorial Health Center


Staff Physician at MGH


Director, Palliative Care Service, MGH


Co-Director, HMS Center for Palliative Care

Current Teaching and Research Interests

Dr. Billings began practicing medicine as a primary care physician at a neighborhood health center and at MGH. His special interests were in psychosocial aspects of medicine and in teaching the clinical interview. He soon started a home care program, which led him to hospice at the local and national level. In 1995, Dr. Billings started the Palliative Care Service at MGH. His teachings focus on end-of-life care and especially on communication issues. After piloting a series of Palliative Care Role Model programs under a NIH grant, he and Dr. Block created the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care with the sponsorship of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They now give an annual faculty development course, Palliative Care Education and Practice; and two annual review courses, Practical Aspects of Palliative Care and Palliative Care for Hospitalists and Intensivists, and will initiate the Serious Illness Communication course in 2015. Special projects at MGH have included integrating palliative care with intensive care and early integration of palliative care into treatment of advanced lung cancer.