Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Jennifer Needle

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-9574

Mailing Address:
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Academic Office Building
2450 Riverside Ave S AO-301
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Administrative Assistant Name
Jon Burke

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

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, Cleveland, OH

Fellowship in Biomedical Ethics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

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


Jennifer Needle is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Critical Care and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She earned her MD from Howard University in Washington DC, and a Masters 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 Pediatrics in Critical Care and the American Board of Pediatrics. Her academic work focuses on palliative and end-of-life care communication in critical illness. She has been a PI or co-I on grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society studying Adolescent and Young Adult Advance Care Planning in Cancer and Bone Marrow Transplant. Her work has been published in Critical Care Medicine, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Palliative Medicine, and The Journal of Clinical Ethics.

Awards & Recognition

  • Minneapolis - St. Paul Magazine "Top Doctor" (2020-2022) 
  • Minnesota Monthly “Top Doctors” (2017-2018, 2021, 2022)
  • Society for Critical Care Medicine Ethics Specialty Award (2012)


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

  • American Board of Pediatrics 
  • American Board of Pediatrics- Pediatric Critical Care Medicine