Elvira Parravicini, MD

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Neonatology, Pediatrics
More specialties
Treats Children
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Elvira Parravicini, MD, is a perinatologist/neonatologist, Director of the Neonatal Comfort Care Program, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center. She also obtained a Certification in Palliative Medicine from Harvard University.

Her passion for helping the most fragile patients in the neonatal population inspired Dr. Parravicini to create a unique and innovative program for infants affected by life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. The Neonatal Comfort Care Program addresses the complex medical and non-medical needs of infants and their families. The interdisciplinary Neonatal Comfort Care Program includes a core team with a nurse coordinator, a social worker, a program manager, and Dr. Parravicini serves as medical director. Other NICU professionals, including speech pathologist, lactation consultant, child life specialist, psychologist, and chaplaincy collaborate with the core team. They work together to establish a state of comfort for babies in a compassionate, loving environment and provide support to families.

You can learn more about the Neonatal Comfort Care Program at: www.neonatalcomfortcare.com

Dr. Parravicini is also actively involved with the Center for Prenatal Pediatrics, for which she provides prenatal counseling and coordinates postnatal care plans for high-risk pregnancies. She works closely with specialists from maternal-fetal medicine, cardiology, pediatric surgery, and other disciplines to provide evidence-based, comprehensive care to infants with complex medical problems.

Dr. Parravicini believes each baby’s life is precious and should be welcomed and cherished. She is committed to giving babies a better chance toward healthy life, when recovery is possible, and to improving their quality of life through the most challenging conditions.

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Abnormal Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Infant Renal Failure
  • Neonatal Care
  • Palliative Care (Hospice Care)
  • Renal Disease

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Pediatrics at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Neonatal Comfort Care Program

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital


  • Italian


  • Female

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Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • University of Milano - Italy
  • Internship: University of Milano Affiliated Hospitals - Italy
  • Residency: New York University Medical Center
  • Residency: University of Milano Affiliated Hospitals - Italy
  • Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship: 2001 NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical C

Board Certifications

  • Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
  • Pediatrics


Dr. Parravicini’s main research interest focuses on questions arising from the practice of neonatal palliative care:

- What is the best (evidence-based) plan of care for infants affected by life-limiting conditions?

- How can we make a baby comfortable – not just free of pain –at the end of life or when he or she is critically ill in the NICU?

- Can the parental grieving experience have a positive outcome?

- Can parents experience motherhood and fatherhood with their critically ill baby in the NICU?

- It is possible to prevent burnout in NICU nurses especially when constantly caring for babies with severe medical conditions and/or potential adverse prognosis?

Ever since Dr. Parravicini created an innovative program of perinatal/neonatal palliative care in 2008, she has been studying outcomes measures for the population served by the program.

She has been investigating interventions aimed at achieving a state of comfort in the baby and to facilitate the parental grieving experience in the settings of end-of-life care, after the diagnosis of a life-limiting or terminal condition.

Moreover, she has been researching the effects of supportive measures offered to critically ill infants with a potential adverse prognosis in the NICU and to their families. The hypothesis is that these interventions facilitate babies’ comfort, optimize the parenting experience and prevent nursing burnout in the NICU settings.

In addition, Dr. Parravicini studies kidney development. Her research focuses on the molecule UNGAL (Urine Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin) in infants with low birth weights. She discovered that UNGAL is an early marker of late-onset sepsis (pending patent) and has also established a reference range of this molecule for premature infants.

Research Interests

  • neonatal palliative care
  • renal function in premature infants