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Ellen H. O'Donnell, PhD


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Centers & Specialties

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Medical Education
  • PhD, Clark University
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Behavioral Health
  • United Behavioral Health - MGH
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Ellen O'Donnell is a Staff Psychologist in the Learningand Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) and the Outpatient Child PsychiatryDept. at Mass. General Hospital for Children. She is an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. O'Donnell graduated Phi Beta Kappa withHonors from Boston College. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Clark University where she received the Monte Bliss Fellowship in Child Psychology and was a Rosenblum Fellow in Public Policy at the Mass. Psychological Assn. Dr. O'Donnell completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in child clinical psychology at Mass. General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. O'Donnell specializes in neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with learning, emotional, and behavioral concerns. She has a particular interest in working with children and adolescents affected by both medical illness and developmental or learning disabilities. In addition to assessment, she provides outpatient therapy to patients with chronic medical illness using a cognitive behavioral/ behavioral medicine approach. Dr.O'Donnell consults to the Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic and the MGHfC Diabetes Clinic. She was previously a member of the Parenting at a Challenging Time (PACT) team, helping parents to talk about their cancer with their children.

Dr. O'Donnell's research interests are in developing interventions for children affected by both medicalillness and learning disabilities and in positive parenting practices to protect them. Dr. O'Donnell's work has been published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence and Multiple Sclerosis Journal. She has co-authored chapters on neuropsychological assessment in pediatric populations and on a parent guidance model for parenting with chronic illness.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. O'Donnell is currently the neuropsychologist for the Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center at MGHfC. She conducts research on the neuropsychological effects of MS in collaboration with five other centers of excellence across the country funded in part by the National MS Society.

Much of her research has focused on the impact of parenting styles on children's motivation, cognitive style, and emotional well-being.

Dr. O'Donnell is particularly interested in the well-being and adjustment of children with executive function deficits like those associated with ADHD who are affected by pediatric or family illness.

She is currently conducting research on the impact of problems with executive function on adolescents' adherence to diabetes self-care.

Selected Publications:

Charvet, LE, O'Donnell, EH, Belman, AL, Chitnis, T, Ness, JM, Parrish, J, Patterson, M, Rodrigues, E, Waubant, E, Weinstock-Guttman, B, & Krupp, LB. Longitudinal Evaluation of Cognitive Functioning in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis: Report from the US Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Network. Multiple Sclerosis Journal 2014.

O'Donnell, EH, Eddy, K., & Rauch, P. (2013) Parenting with chronic and life threatening illness: a parent guidance model, in Working with Families in Medical Settings: A Multidisciplinary Guide for Psychiatrists and Other Health Professionals edited by E Arzubi & E Mambrino. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Braaten EB,
O?Donnell E. (2010)  Neuropsychology and pediatrics, in
A Practical Guide to Neuropsychological Testing for Patients, Practitioners, and Other Professionals edited by E Arzubi & E Mambrino.  New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

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LEAP Program
151 Merrimac Street
5th Floor
Boston MA, 02114-4714
Phone: 617-643-6017617-643-6010
Fax: 617-643-6060
Psychiatry Department
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-724-5600

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