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Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA
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Children's Pain & Comfort Care Program


Meet our Team

Program Leadership

Lonnie Zeltzer, MD
Program Director
Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences

Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the Children's Pain and Comfort Care Program. She is a co-author on the Institute of Medicine report on Transforming Pain in America.  She has received a WT Grant Faculty Scholar's Award, a National Cancer Institute Research Career Development Award, a Physician Excellence Award from Trinity Hospice, a UCLA Helene Brown Award for Excellence in Cancer Control Research, a Mayday Pain and Policy Fellowship, and the 2005 Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children's Pain Relief from the American Pain Society (APS).  Her UCLA pain program received a 2009 Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award from APS and a 2012 award from the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative.  She was Associate Director of the Patients and Survivors' Program in the UCA Cancer Center and is on the steering committee of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. She has over 350 publications on pain, palliative care, cancer survivors, or complementary therapies.



Elana Evan, PhD
Program Founder & Director of Comfort Care Research & Program Development
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Elana Evan is the Director of Program Development and Research for the UCLA Children's Pain Comfort Care Program and is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2005. Her expertise involves treating children with various developmental disabilities, learning problems and functional difficulties associated with chronic pain as well as both serious and life-threatening medical conditions. Her research interests are in the area of pediatric palliative care, childhood communication, coping, and cognitive ability. Dr. Evan completed her doctorate at the American Psychological Association (APA) accredited Fielding Graduate University, her clinical internship at the UCLA (Neuropsychiatric) Semel Institute and Postdoctoral Fellowship in the UCLA Department of Pediatrics. As part of her fellowship she received funding to establish the Children's Comfort Care Program, UCLA's Pediatric Palliative Care program which she directed and developed as a grass-roots effort with involvement of fellow faculty, staff, trainees and parent involvement. In addition to her history of research and clinical training at UCLA, she has also provided therapeutic and educational services throughout the Los Angeles community and has lectured at various universities and at professional and scientific conferences nationally and internationally. Dr. Evan is currently creating a telemedicine component to the UCLA Children's Pain and Comfort Care Clinical Service that was launched in December 2013. This will allow community hospitals to benefit from the highly specialized consultation services her team provides at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. She was also funded by the American Cancer Society and National Palliative Care Research Center to develop a communication intervention for children with serious illnesses to improve quality of life and hopes to transport these therapies into a future model for home palliative care using in-person and telemedicine services.

Clinical Team

Julianne Harrison, DO
Attending Physician

Michaela Nalamliang, RN, MSN, CPNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Gina Kornfeind, MSW, MA
Bereavement & Support Coordinator

Research Team

Jennie Tsao, PhD
Director of Pediatric Pain Research
Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics

Subhadra Evans, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Laura Payne, PhD
Adjunct Instructor of Pediatrics

Laura Seidman
Senior Research Associate

Kirsten Lung
Research Associate

Administrative Support Team

Nancy Torres
Administrative Assistant - Clinical Program

Ixel Gonzalez
Administrative Assistant

UCLA Team Affiliates

Rev. Aiko (Irene) M. Johnson, MA, MDiv, BCC
Pediatric Chaplain, Department of Spiritual Care

Kellye Carroll, MS, CCLS
Director, Child Life/Child Development Program