James Hunter Groninger
Hunter Groninger

James Hunter Groninger

Scientific director for Palliative Care, MedStar Health Research Institute

Hunter Groninger, MD, serves as director of Palliative Care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MHWC) and scientific director for Palliative Care at MHRI. In addition, he is a professor of medicine at the Georgetown University Medical Center, and Adjunct Lecturer in Medical Humanities at the Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Groninger specializes in providing holistic palliative care to patients living with serious, progressive illness and their families. He is board-certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. At MedStar Health, he provides care for patients; teaches medical students and clinical trainees; and participates in research activities. His research focuses on novel symptom management strategies, palliative care in cardiovascular disease, and complex communication and medical decision-making.

Dr. Groninger is a member of the Editorial Board for the Annals of Palliative Medicine and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for more than a dozen scientific periodicals . His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Reviews: Clinical Oncology, the Journal of Cardiac Failure, the Journal of Palliative Medicine, and the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

Research Interests

Dr. Groninger’s research interests include the following:

  • Innovative models of palliative care delivery
  • Novel strategies to address pain and other disease-related symptoms
  • Supportive care for patients with advanced cardiac disease
  • Cancer survivorship

Selected Research

Virtual reality to mitigate pain in hospitalized patients with cancer
Dr. Groninger is a principal investigator on this study comparing virtual reality versus guided imagery to mitigate moderate-severe pain related to cancer or cancer therapies.

Palliative telehealth models to improve health-related quality of life
Dr. Groninger and colleagues are evaluating a novel interdisciplinary telehealth program to improve outcomes in patients with advanced illness living at home. 

Evaluating associations of social determinants of health and palliative outcomes in patients with advanced heart failure
Dr. Groninger and colleagues are studying the influence that social determinants of health may have on patient related outcomes at end of life.

View Dr. Groninger’s publications on PubMed.

Visit Dr. Groninger’s clinical practice page.

Research Areas

  • Cardiovascular
    Critical Care/Emergency Medicine
    Health Equity
    Palliative Care