Ross M Hays, MD

Ross M Hays, MD

On staff since December 1983

Children's Title: Director, Palliative Care Program; Chair, Ethics Committee

Academic Title: Professor; Rehabilitation Medicine

"Seattle Children’s is fortunate to have one of the most established pediatric palliative care programs in the country. The members of the palliative care team are among the most courageous and talented people in our organization. The children we work with have life-limiting illnesses; they and their parents are my teachers. They help me to be a better doctor every day. It is a privilege to do this work. "

  • Ross Hays, MD, is an ethics consultant for the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics and chair of the Ethics Committee at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He is also medical director for the Palliative Care Consultation Service at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

    Dr. Hays was primary investigator of the Robert Wood Johnson Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care Program. He is board certified in pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine and hospice and palliative care.  Dr. Hays has been principal investigator on a trial using botulinum toxin to improve function for children with cerebral palsy and co-investigator in a study of the efficacy of selective dorsal rhizotomy in the treatment of cerebral palsy. He has participated in research investigating pain and painful procedures in children and projects to improve education on chronic disease and disability.  Dr. Hays is the pediatric clinical core leader for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center's Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center, which provides care to children with severe life-limiting illness using a unique model that is highly regarded throughout the country. He also provides consultation on pediatric palliative care to hospitals regionally and nationally.

    • Natalie Olympia WA 05.22.18

      12 years ago this May was the first time I had ever heard of Dr. Hays. He was introduced to us with the large panel of specialist. He introduced himself as Ross, so I didn’t even know he was a doctor. We met him in the cardiac ICU that her baby son was being treated as a newborn. My memory of Ross is very tender. He stood by my husband and I through Some really hard conversations we had to have about our sons care. Ross give us a backbone, and was a shoulder to depend on when so many words were coming to us that we didn’t know how to process. He grew to love our son, who passed away three months later. But I will never forget Ross, his tenderness of heart, his grace, and his steadfast wisdom that helped in our journey of loving our son Home. To this day his name comes to memory more than any doctor that cared for Hudson. Ross is one of the best doctors and perhaps even humans we have meet. I’m not sure he would remember us, but I know we Won’t forget him.

  • Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    SEATTLE MAGAZINE TOP DOCTOR - 2015 Seattle Magazine 2015
  • Manuscripts in Refereed Journals

    • Ross M. Hays, MD
      Integrating Palliative Care Into the PICU: A Report From the Improving Palliative Care in the ICU Advisory Board
      Pediatr Crit Care Med, 2014 July 30
    • Ross M. Hays, MD, Crit Care Med.
      Choosing and Using Screening Criteria for Palliative Care Consultation in the ICU: a Report from the Improving Palliative Care in the ICU (IPAL-ICU) Advisory Board
      Crit Care Med, 2013 Oct. : 41(10)2318-27
    • Doorenbos, A.Z., Starks, H., Bourget, E., McMullen, D.M., Lewis-Newby, M., Rue, T.C., Lindhorst, T., Aisenberg, E., Oman, N., Curtis, J.R., Hays, R.
      Examining Palliative Care Team Involvement in Automatic Consultations for Children on Extracorporeal Life Support in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
      J Palliat Med, 2013 May 13 : 16(5)492-95
    • Doorenbos, A. Z., Lindhorst, T., Starks, H., Aisenberg, E., Curtis, J. R., & Hays, R.
      Palliative Care in the Pediatric ICU: Challenges and Opportunities For Family Centered Practice
      Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, 2012 Nov. 29 : 8(4)297-315
    • Mosenthal AC, Weissman DE, Curtis JR, Hays RM, Lustbader DR, Mulkerin C, Puntillo KA, Ray DE, Bassett R, Boss RD, Brasel KJ, Campbell M, Nelson JE
      Integrating Palliative Care in the Surgical and Trauma Intensive Care Unit: A Report From the Improving Palliative Care in the Intensive Care Unit (IPAL-ICU) Project Advisory Board and the Center to Advance Palliative Care
      Crit Care Med, 2012 April 1 : 40(4)1199 - 1206
    • Lustbader DR, Nelson JE, Weissman DE, Hays RM, Mosenthal AC, Mulkerin C, Puntillo KA, Ray DE, Bassett R, Boss RD, Brasel KJ, Campbell ML, Cortez TB, Curtis JR
      Physician Reimbursement For Critical Care Services Integrating Palliative Care For Critically Ill Patients
      Chest, 2012 March 1 : 141(3)787-92
    • Feudtner J, Kang T, Hexem K, Friebert S, Friedrichdorf S, Osenga K, Siden H, Hays R, Dussel V, Wolfe J
      Pediatric Palliative Care Patients: A Prospective Multicenter Cohort Study
      Pediatrics, 2011 June 1 : 127(6)1094 - 1101

    Other Publications

    • Hays R, Adams L, Frost M
      Introducing Home-Based Palliative Care and Hospice in the Textbook of Interdisciplinary Pediatric Palliative Care
      Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2011 Feb. 9 : 195-199

  • Presentations Title Event Location Date
    Preparing Families for Chronic Care: The Palliative Care Model 33rd Annual Dialysis Conference Seattle, WA March 11, 2013
    Pediatric Palliative Care: Lessons from the First Generation Hutton Memorial Endowed Lectureship, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD May 15, 2012
    Pediatric Palliative Care Pediatric Palliative Care Research Network Denver, CO March 8, 2012
    Palliative Care for Neuromuscular Disease Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Clinical Assembly Las Vegas, NV March 6, 2012
    Visions of Hope Project Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University Warrenton, VA April 27, 2011


Board Certification(s)

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Medical/Professional School

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA


Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI
Tufts Medical Center GME, Boston, MA


Tufts Medical Center GME, Boston, MA

Research Focus Area

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention