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.


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Vicki A. JacksonVicki A. Jackson, MD, MPH

Chief, Division of Palliative Care and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

Co-Director, Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Educational and Professional Experience


BS, Psychology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI


MD, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Medical Resident, The Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA


Chief Resident in Medicine, The Cambridge Hospital


Harvard General Medicine, Research Fellow


MPH, Harvard School of Public Health-Concentration in Clinical Effectiveness


Pain and Palliative Care, Clinical Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Program in Cancer Outcomes Research Training, Research Fellow


Director, Palliative Care Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital


Director, Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship


Acting Chief, Palliative Care Service, Massachusetts General Hospital


Chief, Palliative Service, Massachusetts General Hospital


Co-Director, Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care


Chief, Division of Palliative Care and Geriatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital

Current Teaching and Research Interests

Since completing her clinical training in Internal Medicine at The Cambridge Hospital, Palliative Care at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Hospital, as well as her research training through the Harvard Medical School General Medicine Fellowship and the Harvard University School of Public Health, Dr. Jackson has focused her effort as a clinician, educator, and leader in palliative medicine locally and nationally. In the clinical arena, she spearheaded the development of a novel outpatient palliative care clinic in the MGH Cancer Center and is the palliative care lead for an NIH study to further evaluate the benefits of this delivery model. As an educator, Dr. Jackson received extensive training in medical education through several fellowships. Her educational work has focused on the development and evaluation of communication curricula for palliative care fellows and attending physicians caring for seriously ill patients. Along with Dr. David Ryan, Chief of Oncology at MGH, she has completed a book for patients living with cancer to be published in 2017 by Johns Hopkins University Press. In her role as Chief of Palliative Care for Massachusetts General Hospital, she oversees all clinical, educational, and research initiatives related to Palliative Care.

She has a great husband Philip Knapp, who is an endocrinologist at Boston Medical Center. His favorite gland is the adrenal. They also have two terrific children Hannah and Sam and a fluffy, loveable golden retriever, Doris, who also happens to be the MGH Palliative Care dog. Dr. Jackson is also a Midwesterner and Green Bay Packer fan.