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Division Chief, Comfort and Palliative Care Associate or Professor of Clinical Pediatrics-CHLA

Keck School of Medicine Faculty Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the "Trojan Family," which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is.

The Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) of the University of Southern California (USC) Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) are actively seeking a full-time board-certified physician leader for the position of Division Chief of Comfort and Palliative Care at CHLA. The academic rank of the successful candidate will be as an Associate or Full Professor of Pediatrics, dependent on individual experience.

CHLA is one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers devoted to children. At the forefront of pediatric medicine, CHLA is home to renowned experts who work together across disciplines to deliver exceptional care, drive advances in pediatric medicine and help set standards of care across the nation and around the globe. Driven by a culture of innovation, the hospital’s principles of research and discovery are embedded in every aspect of care. The best and brightest come to work at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles because they are deeply dedicated to providing life-changing, lifesaving care for a truly diverse population of children—including many from underserved communities—all in a culturally sensitive and family-friendly environment.

World-Class Clinical and Research Impact
The impact of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles spans more than a century. Founded in 1901, CHLA has the highest number of pediatric discharges in the state of California. The hospital and six regional specialty care centers are vital resources for children throughout the nation’s most populous county; CHLA is also a regional referral center and a care destination for children from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. CHLA’s expertise spans the entire pediatric care continuum, from everyday preventive medicine to the most complex surgical interventions such as double organ transplants, treating every child as an individual while demonstrating a commitment to contributing to overall healthier communities.

With more than 350 specialty programs and services, CHLA has more than 7,000 team members and nearly 1,000 medical staff members. Through more than 700,000 patient visits and more than 17,000 inpatient discharges in its most recent year, CHLA cares for a broad and clinically complex population. CHLA consistently achieves impressive patient and family experience scores, far outperforming pediatric benchmarks.

CHLA pediatric specialists deliver a level of care that is consistently recognized among the best in the world. Newsweek magazine ranks CHLA among the top 8 hospitals in the world specializing in pediatrics, and the 4th in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks CHLA among the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country every year, including No. 1 in California and No. 1 in the Pacific U.S. region. CHLA is also one of the very few hospitals to have been continuously designated a Magnet hospital since 2008, with its most recent designation process being accelerated during the pandemic.

CHLA is home to The Saban Research Institute (the Saban) where scientific inquiry is combined with clinical care devoted exclusively to children.  Investigators at the Saban conduct basic, translational and clinical research, and are involved in collaborative projects with academic institutions worldwide. Two research buildings on the main campus comprise over 215,000 square feet for wet lab and dry lab research activities.

Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine (ACCM)

The Department is unique in that it spans the Divisions of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Pain Medicine and Palliative Care Medicine. Leaders from the department oversee care delivery in the pediatric Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and support anesthesiology care delivery for more than 15,500 surgical cases per year. The Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine provides the following clinical services:

  • Anesthesiology and sedation services for the main operating room, ambulatory surgery center, radiology, cardiology, catheterization lab, and elsewhere.
  • Critical care medicine for the 32-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) (inclusive of a 24-bed PICU and a 6-bed PICU staffed as a single unit), the 24-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit (CTICU), Level I trauma unit, procedural sedation, and offsite PICU locations.
  • Acute, post-op and chronic pain management inpatient and outpatient services, including non-pharmacologic treatments such as dog therapy, acupuncture, biofeedback, etc.
  • Palliative care and other comfort services providing physical, emotional, physical and spiritual support to children and teens with life threatening illnesses, and their families.
  • Treatment in our ambulatory clinic at our Pain and Palliative Care Center.

The core pillars of research strength in ACCM currently are in respiratory physiology, informatics, outcomes and participation in multicenter clinical trials (primarily in the ICUs). Current clinical providers include approximately 38 FTE anesthesiologists and 22 FTE critical care medicine physicians. 

The department operates the largest training program at CHLA, teaching nearly 250 trainees per year, including residents, student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNA), and anesthesia technicians who rotate from other schools (USC, UCLA, Kaiser, and others). 

Programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) include:

  • Critical care (15 fellows)
  • Pediatric anesthesiology (10 to 12 fellows)
  • Palliative care (1 fellow)

Non-ACGME-accredited programs include:

  • Pain management (1 to 2 fellows)
  • Cardiac critical care (2 fellows)
  • Cardiac anesthesia (1 to 2 fellows)

For more information, please visit:

Division of Comfort and Palliative Care Medicine
The Division provides clinical services to patients, their families, and the medical staff. We work as an interdisciplinary team with the goal of relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for patients with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses. The physician will also participate as core faculty for our ACGME-accredited Pediatric Palliative Care Fellowship. Abundant research opportunities are also available.

Position Description

We are seeking an experienced and dynamic individual to join our team as the Division Chief of Comfort and Palliative Care Medicine. As a pivotal departmental leader, the Chief will be responsible for leading a team of 4-5 palliative care medicine attendings, nurse practitioners, social workers, and psychologists fostering growth, and driving expansion within our Comfort and Palliative Care Program. The position also includes supporting the academic success and professional development of our faculty and fellows. 

Candidate Attributes

The ideal candidate will be a palliative medicine physician with an accomplished clinical research record and prior successes in developing and mentoring faculty members.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate an ability to inspire and motivate through vision and purpose, has academic credentials of merit, has effectively managed people around short and long-term objectives, has an understanding of the business of academic medicine, and is a clear and professional communicator. Ability in building high-performing teams, engaging in strategic thinking and decision-making are all necessary skills.

The candidate will balance a clinical patient care practice that spans the wide variety of care settings and environments available at CHLA with oversight of the practice of faculty members within the Division, supervision of non-physician team members. The individual will champion growth within the department, engage in program development activities, develop and champion innovative compensation models for approval and implementation and provide leadership and mentorship with regard to education and research activities.

Specific leadership responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing leadership and input at the Departmental and Hospital level along with leadership and strategic direction to a dedicated team of palliative care professionals.
  • Collaborating with an interdisciplinary team to deliver high-quality clinical services to patients, their families, and medical staff.
  • Creating a positive work environment for the division.
  • Providing guidance and mentorship for physicians and trainees to support a culture of professionalism and effective communication within the division and department.
  • Building a strong partnership with other division leaders, both internal and external to ACCM, to collaborate with physician leaders on clinical activities.
  • Demonstrating expertise in palliative care, monitoring and understanding the local and national forces shaping healthcare in the US and ideating regarding how these forces may influence the future of the discipline.
  • Identifying and championing opportunities for growth of the department’s and division’s clinical, research, and educational programs.
  • Providing guidance and participating in implementation of growth plans, including monitoring progress and performance in achieving objectives. 
  • Actively participating in departmental and division fundraising activities and represent the division at events. Assisting Department Chair in addressing clinical, service, process and behavioral complaints directly with division and affected faculty, escalating to the Department Chair as needed. Ensuring divisional faculty compliance with clinical practice billing and documentation rules and regulations.
  • Overseeing division budget in collaboration with academic leaders as well as administrative leaders from the hospital and the CHLA Medical Group; developing and participating in annual departmental budgeting efforts in collaboration with the Department Chair, department management team, medical group and hospital.
  • Effectively operationalizing financial strategic plan goals and priorities of department.
  • Coordinating educational activities for palliative care (in collaboration with education/fellowship services of the department).
  • Developing and conducting of cooperative research programs for palliative care (in collaboration with the research services of the department).
  • Leading and participate in quality assurance and performance improvement activities for the division in partnership with our QA/QI teams.
  • Delivering thoughtful, accurate and timely academic and performance evaluations for division faculty in accordance with required procedures and timelines.
  • Leading recruitment for department faculty; recommending faculty appointment, reappointment and academic promotions. Assisting (as appropriate) with recruitment of key faculty for other departments, hospital, and medical group staff.
  • Ensuring the provision of clinical care that meets the needs of the Departments with clinical quality and productivity levels that meet or exceed accepted standards.


  • Board certification in Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine
    • Board certification in Family Medicine will also be considered with documentation of pediatric palliative care experience.
  • Experience
    • Minimum of 7 years of Pediatric Palliative Care experience, preferably at a large, complex academic children’s hospital or academic medical center, ideally in a diverse, urban and highly regulated market with a high ratio of Medicaid-insured patient population.
    • Experience should include a minimum of 3 years in a leadership role either within an academic Division or Department or in one or more enterprise positions within their home hospital or health system.
    • Successful track record leading cost management initiatives and experience with budget management preferred.
    • Must have demonstrated a commitment to professional development along with mentoring and coaching of faculty and team members.
    • Must have demonstrated experience leading faculty in professional development.
  • Licensure
    Must be licensed (or be eligible for medical licensure) in the State of California.

The annual base salary range for this position is $241,000-$370,001.  When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

If interested, please apply using the link above. For further inquiries, please contact:

Rosie Zesati, MAM, C-TAGME

Administrator, Medical Education and Professional Development

Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine

Phone 323-361-5591 |

Academic appointment through USC Keck School of Medicine will be commensurate with training and experience. USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. CHLA and USC greatly values diversity and is committed to building a vibrant and culturally diverse community of faculty that best reflects the patients and families that we serve. Individuals from underrepresented groups in medicine are especially encouraged to apply.

REQ20146405 Posted Date: 03/19/2024

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