• Researcher Profile

    Rachelle E. Bernacki, MD, MS

    Rachelle E. Bernacki, MD, MS
    Director of Quality Initiatives, Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
    Senior Physician

    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Palliative Care (Adult)

    Office phone: 617-632-6464
    Fax: 617-632-6180

    Preferred contact method: office phone

    View Physician Profile


    Palliative medicine, Symptom management, End-of-life care, Geriatrics

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215

    Recent Awards

    • Excellence in Small Group Instruction Award, UCSF School of Medicine, 2007, 2008
    • Clinical Faculty Teaching Award, UCSF School of Medicine, 2007
    • Geriatric Academic Career Award, Health Resources and Services Administration, 2007
    • Summer Institute on Aging Research, National Institute on Aging, 2007

    Select Publications

    • Bernacki, R. Use of healthcare resources in the last six months of life: How doctors learn may explain results. BMJ 2004; 328(7449):1202.
    • Bernacki, R. Not at Peace. Hastings Cent Rep 2005; 35(4):9-10.
    • Bernacki R, Brauner D. "Vanishing Tumors in a 95 year old woman." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2006; (55): S101.
    • Auerbach A.D., Pantilat S.Z., Schnipper J., Bernacki, R., Wetterneck T., Kaboli P., Gonzalez D., Manning W., Levinson W., Meltzer D. Factors associated with documentation of care discussions: A multicenter trial. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2008; 3(6):437-445.
    • Bernacki, R. Pantilat, S.Z. Guidelines for Palliative Care: Hospital and Hospice. In Esophageal Cancer Principles and Practice. Eds: Jobe, B. Thomas, C.R., Hunter J.G. 2009.
    • Billings, JA, Bernacki R.  Strategic Targeting of Advance Care Planning Interventions: The Goldilocks Phenomenon.  JAMA Internal Medicine 2014; 174(4):620-4.
    • Bernacki, R, Block, R. Communication about Serious Illness Care Goals: A Review and Synthesis of Best Practices. JAMA Intern Med. 2014; 174(12):1994-2003.
    • Selvaggi K, Vick J, Jessell SA, Lister J, Abrahm JL, and Bernacki R. Bridging the Gap: A Palliative Care Consultation Service in a Hematological Malignancy-BMT Unit. Journal of Supportive Oncology 2014; 12 (2):50-55.
    • Cooper, Z, Bernacki, R, Bader, A, Gawande, A, Block, S. Conversations about treatment preferences before high-risk surgery: A pilot study in the pre-operative testing center. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2014; 17(6):701-7.
    • Bernacki, R, Smith, G, Block, S.  The Role of Palliative Care in Accountable Care Organizations.  Journal of Palliative Medicine 2015; 18(6): 486-494. 
    • Bernacki, R, Smith, G, Hutchings, M, Vick, J; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Smith, G, Paladino, J, Lipsitz, S, Gawande, A Block, SD.  Development of the Serious Illness Care Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Palliative Care Communication Intervention. BMJ Open 2015: 5(10). e009032 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009032.
    • Bernacki, R, Obermeyer, Z. A Need for More, Better, and Earlier Conversations With Cancer Patients About Goals of Care. Evidence Based Oncology 2015; 21 (6):166-7.
    • Bernacki RE, Ko D, Higgins P, Whitlock S, Cullinan A, Wilson R, Jackson V, Dahlin C, Abrahm J, Mort E, Scheer K, Block S, Billings JA. Improving Access to Palliative Care through an Innovative Quality Improvement Initiative.  Journal of Palliative Medicine 2012; 15(2): 192-199.
    • Cooper, Z, Mitchell, SL, Lipsitz, S, Harris, MB, Ayanian, JZ, Bernacki, R, Jha, AK. Mortality and Readmissions After Cervical Fractures From Falls In Older Adults: A Comparison To Hip Fracture Using National Medicare Data.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2015; 63(10): 2036-42.
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