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Renee Denise Boss, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Renee Denise Boss, M.D.
  • Associate Professor, Rembrandt Foundation Professor of Pediatric Palliative Care
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Languages: English, Spanish


Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Neonatology

Research Interests

Critical care neonatology; Clinician-to-parent communication; Neonatal palliative care

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-5259
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Johns Hopkins Pediatrics

Appointment Phone: 410-955-5210
200 N. Wolfe Street
Rubenstein Child Health Building
Baltimore, MD 21287 map


Dr. Renee Boss is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her areas of clinical expertise are neonatology and neonatal palliative care. She founded the Palliative Care Working Group in the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine.

Dr. Boss is a member of the Maryland Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and also sits on the Johns Hopkins Ethics Committee.

She was recently elected to the Society for Pediatric Research for her contributions to the study of childhood disease. Previously, she was awarded the Young Investigators Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Palliative Medicine and Pediatrics.

After receiving her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Boss completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She performed her neonatology fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. more


  • Associate Professor, Rembrandt Foundation Professor of Pediatric Palliative Care
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD, Boston University School of Medicine (2000)


  • University of Arizona College of Medicine / Pediatrics (2004)


  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Neonatology (2007)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pediatrics / Hospice and Palliative Care (2010)
  • American Board of Pediatrics / Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (2010)
  • American Board of Pediatrics / Pediatrics (2003)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Renee Boss conducts communication research in the area of neonatal bioethics and decision making for high-risk newborns. She leads the multicenter Pediatric Chronic Critical Illness Working Group, focused on the needs of medically complex children with repeated and prolonged hospitalizations. She currently has funding from the National Palliative Care Research Center to create a video decision-aid for families of infants who may need long-term home ventilation.  She has recent funding by three separate Johns Hopkins Children's Center Innovation Awards, all directed at improving care for infants and children who are chronically critically ill.  These projects include creating a home visit program for families going home with medical technology, a staff communication skills course to help families of children who are in the ICU for prolonged periods, and modifying ICU care approaches for long-stay patients.  Dr. Boss is also Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute for Bioethics and co-directs the Hecht-Levi Fellowship in Bioethics.

Selected Publications

Boss RD, Geller G, Donohue PK. "Conflicts in Learning to Care for Critically Ill Newborns: ‘It Makes Me Question My Own Morals.’" Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2014 (in press).

Boss RD. "Infants, Ethical Issues." Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 4th ed., Macmillan Reference: USA; 2014.

Boss RD, Shapiro MC. "Ethical Considerations in Congenital Heart Disease." Congenital Heart Disease: Molecular Genetics, Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment. 2014 (in press).

Boss RD, Hutton N. "Emerging Ethical Complexities in Pediatric Palliative Care." Palliative Care and Ethics: Common Ground and Cutting Edges, 1st ed., Oxford University Press; 2014.

Boss RD, Holmes KW, Althaus J, Rushton CH, McNee H, McNee T. "Trisomy 18 and complex congenital heart disease: seeking the threshold benefit." Pediatrics. 2013 Jul;132(1):161-5. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-3643. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Boss RD, Urban A, Barnett MD, Arnold RM. "Neonatal Critical Care Communication (NC3): training NICU physicians and nurse practitioners." J Perinatol. 2013 Aug;33(8):642-6. doi: 10.1038/jp.2013.22. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Boss RD, Clarke-Pounder JP. "Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care: Targeting the Underserved." Progress in Palliative Care 20(6):343-48; December 2012.

Activities & Honors


  • Elected member, Society for Pediatric Research, 2014
  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Paper Award (formerly the Award for Young Investigators), 2009


  • Maryland Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition
  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Professional Activities

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital Ethics Committee and Consultation Service

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • “From Prenatal to Neonatal Palliative Care: Planning for Uncertainty"
    Pediatric Ground Rounds (09/12/2014)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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