PEDIATRIC SERIES: An Expense Worth Expressing

The Role of Expressive Arts in Pediatric Palliative Care

In this presentation, Dr. Lotstein and Ms. Albers will share ways that Expressive therapies can increase the quality of life of children with serious illness and their families. They will also describe how these therapies can impact care provided by the rest of the interdisciplinary team, and review ways that palliative care providers might highlight the value of the expressive therapies to payors.



Debra Lotstein, MD & Nicole Albers, MA
Debra Lotstein, MD & Nicole Albers, MA

Debra Lotstein, MD, MPH
Director, Division of Comfort and Palliative Care, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Southern California

Dr. Debra Lotstein is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with serious illness, their families, and the health professionals who care for them. She is the Director of the Division of Comfort and Palliative Care in the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. As the director, Dr. Lotstein oversees the Division's clinical, educational and research efforts. She is an attending physician for the team’s inpatient and outpatient clinical services. In 2017, she was named a Sojourns Scholar of the Cambia Health Foundation, a national initiative to identify and cultivate the next generation of palliative care leaders. As a Sojourns Scholar, she is working to improve access to home-based hospice and palliative care for children.

Dr. Lotstein received her medical degree from Stanford University and completed her combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is triple Board-certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine. In addition, she was a health services research fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar’s Program and received a master’s degree in public health from UCLA.

Nicole F. Albers, MA, LMFT, ATR-BC
Team Lead - Expressive Arts and Therapies Team
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Nicole F. Albers is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Art Therapist who has worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since 2011. She serves as the Team Lead for the Mark Taper –Johnny Mercer Artists Program. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University in 2003. Prior to working at CHLA, she worked with children in residential treatment facilities, providing services to families in foster care, probation, and collaborating with public schools. Nicole has embraced her work with the pediatric population and has a passion for working with children: with Sickle Cell Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, and those awaiting organ transplants. She has introduced and presented on Art Therapy at local and statewide conferences, Grand Rounds, as well as speaking at universities. Nicole maintains her own personal art practice outside the hospital, and enjoys using mixed media, assemblage, and black and white photography.

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