North Carolina Children’s Hospital pulmonologist receives award for her work in the field of end of life medicine

Elisabeth Potts Dellon, MD, MPH, was among four American physicians named yesterday as recipients of the first-ever Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards for exceptional work in end of life care.

Dellon, a pediatric pulmonologist at North Carolina Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, received the early physician award, and its accompanying $15,000 grant, in recognition for her unique clinical skill set in caring for children and young adults with advanced chronic lung disease.

“Dr. Dellon’s clinical and research work demonstrates a specific expertise and interest in patient- and family-centered approaches to the care of advanced, life-threatening lung disease,” said Terry Noah, MD, a professor of pediatrics and former chief of pediatric pulmonology at UNC. “Children with pulmonary disease are a complex patient population that has rarely had end-stage disease treatment decision issues adequately addressed by physicians. That makes Dr. Dellon’s presence here at the children’s hospital all the more critical to these families as they work their way through an extraordinarily difficult process.”

The award was given by the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation, whose mission is to enrich the doctor-patient relationship at the end of life, in partnership with The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute that has done pioneering work on end of life decision-making. The awardees were drawn from a national group of nominees through a nomination and selection process administered by The Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life.

Dr. Dellon plans to use her grant award to support ongoing palliative care education for medical providers at UNC, an important step toward the ultimate goal of offering organized palliative care services to children with life threatening illnesses.