The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Main Building, Suite 11NW10 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard

Clinically, I provide consultation and treatment to children and adolescents with chronic illnesses (e.g., cancer; cystic fibrosis) and their families, with a focus on improving coping and adaptation, decreasing distress and family conflict related to the illness, and increasing treatment adherence. I utilize both family therapy and cognitive-behavioral techniques in my work with children and families.

Chronic illness management during childhood and adolescence; decision making, informed consent and assent

My overall goal is to conduct developmentally focused research that will inform questions related to child and family decision making about health-related issues.

One area of research has focused on independent self-management of chronic illness, with a particular focus on the development of decision making autonomy and competence. This line of research has underscored that the parent-child relationship is an important context in which decision making independence and competence develop. My current study is an R01-funded longitudinal study to determine the developmental mechanisms, predictors, and outcomes (e.g., treatment adherence and responsibility) of children?s decision making involvement, in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis or type 1 diabetes.

The second area of research has focused on informed consent and assent in pediatric medical settings. I recently received funding from NIH to examine the potential benefits of children?s involvement in decisions about medical research decisions. I am also a co-investigator on two other studies in this area. One is a prospective cohort study that is following children with life-threatening chronic conditions and their parents, examining the process of decision making and the impact of hopeful patterns of thought, positive and negative affect, and the child?s illness trajectory (PI: Chris Feudtner). The second is a sub-project of a U01 grant (PI: Krantz) to examine informed consent and assent and return of results in the context of genomic sequencing in pediatric settings (PI of sub-project: Bernhardt).

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2014– present)
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2007 – 2014)
PhD, Clinical Psychology, Case Western Reserve University (2005)
MA, Clinical Psychology, Case Western Reserve University (2002)
BA, Psychology and Biomedical Ethics, Brown University (1997)
Selected Publications
Orioles A, Miller VA, Kersun L, Ferrara M, Morrison WE. ?To be a phenomenal doctor you have to be the whole package:? Physicians? interpersonal behaviors during difficult conversations in pediatrics.. Journal of Palliative Medicine. Vol 16(8) . 2013:929-933..
Levenseller, B.L., Soucier, D.J., Miller, V.A., Harris, D., Conway, L., & Bernhardt, B.. Stakeholders? opinions on the implementation of pediatric whole exome sequencing: Implications for informed consent.. Journal of Genetic Counseling. 2013:doi.10.1007/s10897-013-9626-y..
Hill DL, Miller VA, Hexem KR, Carroll K, Faerber JA, Kang T, Feudtner, C. Problems and hopes perceived by mothers, fathers, and physicians of children receiving palliative care.. Health Expectations. 2013:doi: 10.1111/hex.12078.