2024 AAHPM Visionary Justin Baker, MD FAAP FAAHPM

Justin Baker, MD FAAP FAAPM Standford and St. Jude Children’s Hospital

AAHPM reached out to the 2024 Visionaries to gain insight into what motivated them to pursue leadership positions and what they find more fulfilling in their experiences. Justin Baker, MD FAAP FAAHPM has been recognized as one of the exceptional individuals chosen as a 2024 AAHPM Visionaries in Hospice and Palliative Care.

Who has most influenced your work and how have they shaped your contributions?
When I think of the people who have most influenced me in the field of palliative care, three main names come to mind – Pam Hinds, Javier Kane and Joanne Wolfe. I have also been so fortunate to learn from and work closely with Stefan Friedrichsdorf, Stacy Remke, Julia Downing and Bob Macauley and so many others. I am also so fortunate to currently collaborate with and work with the BEST teams at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Stanford Medicine. The biggest influences on my life are my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, my parents and two brothers, my aunt and uncle, my amazing four kiddos and my precious wife Monica (without whom none of this would be possible).

What is the significance to you of being recognized as a “Visionary” in Hospice and Palliative Medicine?
I am so deeply grateful to be recognized as a visionary in this amazing field. I feel like this is my greatest mission and that I am doing exactly what God has placed me on the earth to do. These precious children and their families deserve all we could possibly do for them as we work to attend to their suffering and promote quality of life. Additionally, I am so grateful as I feel like this recognition will help me more effectively address the biggest of all palliative care disparities – location of birth (or birth in a resource-constrained setting). Children born in low- and middle-income countries are more likely to suffer without access to palliative care or even very simple interventions such as morphine.

What is your aspiration for the evolution of hospice and Palliative Medicine?
I am actively advocating for a true “Pallia-Paradigm Shift” where we truly can redefine the field as part of standard of care for children with complex and/or catastrophic diseases. I would LOVE to see palliative care become such a normal part of care for these precious kiddos that not having it included in standard of care would be viewed as harmful and an indication of poor quality (because it is).

Learn more about the AAHPM 2024 Visionaries in Hospice and Palliative Care and view a full list of all current and past Visionaries.

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