Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Jennifer Needle

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-5312

Mailing Address:
Div of Pediatric Critical Care
5th Floor East Building
8951G (Campus Delivery Code)
2450 Riverside Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Assistant Professor, Center for Bioethics

MD, Howard University, Washington D.C.

Residency in Pediatrics, University Hospitals of Cleveland/Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Cleveland, OH

Fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Western Reserve University

Biomedical Ethics, Oregon Health & Science University

MPH, Epidemiology, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health


Jennifer Needle is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. She earned her MD from Howard University in Washington DC, and a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Needle completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at the University Hospitals of Cleveland/Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her fellowship in Biomedical Ethics at the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. 

Dr. Needle joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2013 after six years as an Assistant Professor for the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Critical Care at Oregon Health & Science University. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Critical Care and the American Board of Pediatrics. Jennifer is a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and was given the Ethics Specialty Award by the Society of Critical Care Medicine in 2012. Her research focuses on physician decision-making in pediatric end-of-life care, and her work has been published in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Critical Care Medicine.


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Needle’s research focuses on adolescent and young adult (AYA) advance care planning (ACP) for patients with cancer. She is funded by the American Cancer Society, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, and the National Institute on Nursing Research (NIH). Dr. Needle is utilizing the FACE (Family Centered Advance Care Planning) intervention in patients with cancer and in patients undergoing bone marrow transplants. The goals are to 1) improve congruence between patients and their surrogates in goals of care, 2) assess the impact of the intervention on patient-caregiver-health care provider communication, and 3) to determine the role of AYA ACP on provider moral distress related to end-of-life care.


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Needle JS, Mularski RA, Nguyen T, Fromme EK. Influence of personal preferences for life-sustaining treatment on medical decision making among pediatric intensivists. Crit Care Med 2012; 40(8) 2464-2469.

Needle JS. Home extubation by a pediatric critical care team: Providing a compassionate death outside the pediatric intensive care unit. Ped Crit Care Med2010; 11(3) 401-403.

Needle JS, O’Riordan MA, Smith, P. Parental Understanding of Children’s Life-Threatening Illness in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Ped Crit Care Med 2009; 10(6) 668-674

Needle JS, Anderson, M. Medical Emergency Teams: Are improved outcomes really like day and night? Crit Care Med2006; 34(6) 1840-1 (editorial)

Needle JS, Bjorklund, A, Gupta, S. Considerations in Caring for Adult Patients in the Pediatric

Intensive Care Unit. Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care 2017;6:77-82.

Sveen W, Sury M, Needle J. If Truth Be Told: Paternal Nondisclosure in Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection. Journal of Pediatric Ethics, In press

Needle JS, Smith AR. The Impact of Advance Directives on End-of-Life Care for Adolescents and Young Adults Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2016; 19(3) 300-305.
Needle JS. Ethical Challenges in Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant. Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care 2014; 3 (3) 195-200.

Book Chapters

Needle JS. (2012) Ethical Issues in Critical Illness. Comprehensive Critical Care: Pediatric. Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Needle JS, Anderson MR. (2010) “Pediatric Critical Care Transport.” Manual of Pediatric Intensive Care. Ed. Haresh Kirpalani, Lennox H Huang. Shelton, CT: People’s Medical Publishing House.

Electronic Publications

Needle, JS. (2010) Hyperkalemia. Available at
Needle, JS. (2010) Hypocalcemia. Available at

Needle, JS. (2010) Fever. Available at



  • End-of-Life Care
  • Ethics

Board Certifications

Pediatric Critical Care