Rachelle Bernacki, MD, MS, is the Director of Quality Initiatives in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Bernacki played a key role in developing the Serious Illness Care Program at Ariadne Labs, which has developed a standardized approach for ensuring clinicians conduct discussions about end-of-life values and goals with seriously ill patients and their families. Dr. Bernacki is the faculty development lead in the Serious Illness Community of Practice that nationally scales communication, implementation, and training efforts to strengthen health systems with innovative and sustainable solutions in serious illness care. She also directed the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute randomized controlled trial testing the Serious Illness Care Program, as well as implemented and adapted the program for high-risk primary care patients. Together with Zara Cooper, she recently started the BWH Center for Geriatric Surgery, which identifies vulnerable surgical patients through preoperative frailty screening and symptom assessments and creates clinical pathways tailored to meet their individual needs.
Dr. Bernacki is board certified in Palliative Medicine, Geriatrics, and Internal Medicine and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the American Geriatrics Society. She serves on the Board of Directors of AAHPM and is a 2015 Cambia Sojourns Leadership Scholar. Dr. Bernacki received her B.S. from Cornell University, her M.S. from the University of Chicago where she completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, and her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.