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Boston College Graduate School of Social Work

Philip Higgins

Philip Higgins

MSSW, Columbia University

Research Interests

Palliative care, oncology, heart failure, chronic disease, hospice, interdisciplinary teams, underserved populations

Organization Affiliations

Adult Pain and Palliative Care Service, Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women's Cancer; Association of Oncology Social Work; Social Work in Hospice and Palliative Care Network

Dissertation Topic

The impact of end-of-life decision-making on surrogate mental health and bereavement

Awards and Fellowships

Martha Byron Burke Award for Social Work Excellence; Partners in Excellence Award, Partners HealthCare; American Cancer Society Doctoral Training Grant in Oncology Social Work; Boston College Doctoral Fellowship in Social Work; Selected participant and faculty member, Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice, Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care; Selected participant, Advocating for Clinical Excellence (ACE) Project, City of Hope


Bernacki, R.E., Ko, D., Higgins, P., Nasrallah, S., Cullinan, A., Wilson, R., Jackson, V., Abrahm, J., Mort, E., Scheer, K., Block, S., & Billings, J.A. (in review). Improving access to palliative care through an innovative quality improvement initiative: An opportunity for pay-for-performance. Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Altilio, T., Higgins, P., and Goldberg, J. (in press). Social work practice in palliative care, in Csikai, E. and Simon, C. (eds.), Social Work Practice in Health Care: A Clinical Approach.

Higgins, P. (2011). Guess who's coming to dinner? The emerging identity of palliative social workers, in Altilio, T. and Otis-Green, S. (eds.), The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bookbinder, M., Glajchen, M., McHugh, M., Higgins, P., Budis, J., Solomon, N., Homel, P., Cassin, C., Portenoy, R. (2010). Nurse practitioner-based models of specialist palliative care at home: Sustainability and evaluation of feasibility. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 41(1): 25-34.

Higgins, P. and Altilio, T. (2007). Palliative Sedation: An essential place for clinical excellence, Journal of Social Work in End-of-life and Palliative Care, 3(4):3-30.