Dr. Diane E. Meier is Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), a national organization devoted to increasing the number and quality of palliative care programs in the United States. Under her leadership the number of palliative care programs in U.S. hospitals has more than doubled in the last 5 years. She is also the Vice Chair for Public Policy at the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute where she previously served as Director for twelve years; Professor of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine; and Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.


Dr. Meier is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Institute on Aging Academic Career Leadership Award, the Open Society Institute Faculty Scholar’s Award of the Project on Death in America, the Alexander Richman Commemorative Award for Humanism in Medicine, the Founders Award of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization 2007, AARP’s 50th Anniversary Social Impact Award 2008, Gold Humanism Honor Society National Honoree 2008, Castle Connelly’s Physician of the Year Award 2009, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award 2009, and the HealthLeaders HL20 for 2010. She is the recipient of a five-year NIA Academic Career Leadership Award, and she is Principal Investigator of an NCI-funded five-year multisite study on the outcomes of hospital palliative care services in cancer patients. Dr. Meier is also a recipient of the 2008 MacArthur Fellowship―a $500,000, no-strings-attached grant for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more. As a 2009-2010 Health and Aging Policy Fellow, Dr. Meier worked with the Senate HELP committee and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Dr. Meier has published extensively in all major peer-reviewed medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. She edited the first textbook on geriatric palliative care, four editions of Geriatric Medicine and most recently Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness. She has contributed to more than 20 books on the subject of geriatrics and palliative care. As one of the leading figures in the field of palliative medicine, Dr. Meier has appeared numerous times on television and in print, including ABC World News Tonight, Open Mind with Richard Hefner, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the New York Daily News, Newsday, the New Yorker, AARP, and Newsweek. She figured prominently in the Bill Moyers series On Our Own Terms: Dying in America, a four-part documentary aired on PBS.


Diane E. Meier received her BA from Oberlin College and her MD from Northwestern University Medical School. She completed her residency and fellowship training at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. She has been on the faculty of the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1983. She lives in New York City.


Recent Posts by Diane Meier

How States Can Expand Access To Palliative Care

Given the states’ role in funding safety-net programs, as well as the fact that early signs indicate a push towards more privatization of Medicare and Medicaid, states should consider levers to expand local access to palliative care.

Palliative Care: Continued Progress But Gaps Remain

Findings from a report by The Center to Advance Palliative Care and the National Palliative Care Research Center suggest continued growth in the prevalence of hospital palliative care programs, especially in the largest hospitals that serve the majority of U.S. patients. Gaps in access persist,...

Expanding Access To Palliative Care Services: The Tide Is Turning

Two recent announcements by CMS demonstrate a clear commitment to improving the quality of care for older adults with serious illnesses. Together with the introduction of a bipartisan bill to better train our nation’s health care workforce, these announcements suggest that the tide is turning...

IOM Report Calls For Transformation Of Care For The Seriously Ill

The new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on care near the end of life in the United States was released last week. I had the privilege of serving on the Committee for the last two years, involved both in the writing of the report itself and in coming to consensus on its...

Learning From Amy Berman: Barriers To Palliative Care And How We Might Overcome Them

Editor’s note: You can hear Amy Berman discuss her April Health Affairs Narrative Matters essay at the recent release event for the April issue. You can also join Amy tomorrow (May 1) at noon for live online chat hosted by the Washington Post, which will also be publishing an abridged...