Debra Lotstein, MD, MPH

Interim Chief, Division of Comfort and Palliative Care, Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine
Attending Physician
Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC

As the Director of the Division of Palliative Care, Dr. Lotstein oversees the expanding clinical, educational and research activities of CHLA’s interdisciplinary program. She is an attending physician for the team’s inpatient and outpatient clinical services.The Division of Palliative Care seeks to promote services to achieve the highest possible quality of life for children with complex conditions and their families.

Prior to coming to CHLA, Lotstein served as Medical Director of the Children’s Pain and Comfort Care Program at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. She was also an associate program director of the UCLA Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency program, and was the founding medical director of the Transition Care Consult Program, providing support to adolescents with chronic conditions as they transition into adult care.

She has served as an investigator on a number of quality improvement learning collaborative efforts, including the First 5 LA Early Developmental Screening and Intervention Partnership from 2005 to 2010. Most recently she was the project co-director for research on “The Life Course Health Development Primary Care Residency Curriculum” funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 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. In addition to her medical training, she was a health services research fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar’s Program, and received her master’s in public health, from UCLA.

She is triple Board-certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine.

Clinical Interests

Pediatric Palliative Care; Care for young adults with chronic childhood conditions


Medical School

Stanford University School of Medicine


Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center


Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center


Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, UCLA



Internal Medicine
Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Professional Memberships

AAP, AAP Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine


McManus MA, Pollack LR, Cooley WC, McAllister JW, Lotstein D, Strickland B, Mann MY. Current status of transition preparation among youth with special needs in the United States. Pediatrics. 2013 131(6):1090-7

Lotstein D, Seid M, Klingensmith G, Case D, Lawrence JM, Pihoker C, Dabelea D, Mayer-Davis EJ, Gilliam LK, Corathers S, Imperatore G, Dolan L, Anderson A, Bell RA, Waitzfelder B, for the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study Group. Transition from Childhood to Adult Care for Youth with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Pediatrics. 2013 131(4) e1062-70

Okumura MJ, Hersh AO, Hilton JF, Lotstein D. Change in health status and access to care in young adults with special health care needs: Results from the 2007 National Survey of Adult Transition and Health. Journal of Adolescent Health 2013 52(4): 413-8

Lotstein DS, Kuo AA, Strickland B, Tait F. The Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Special Health Care Needs: Do Racial and Ethnic Disparities Exist? Pediatrics. 2010 126 Suppl (3): S129-36

Lotstein D, Ghandour R, Cash A, McGuire E, Strickland B, Newacheck P. Planning for Health Care Transitions: Results from the 2005-06 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. Pediatrics 2009 123 (1): e145-e152


Improving the quality of care for children and youth with chronic conditions
Access to Pediatric Palliative Care
Transition to Adulthood for youth with Chronic conditions