Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship

The University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Colorado, and the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, all located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, offer a three-year post-residency fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics. The primary goal of our fellowship program is to train physicians who are board eligible or board certified in pediatrics to become academic and clinical leaders in the subspecialty field of Child Abuse Pediatrics The fellowship provides in-depth and intensive training clinical care, education and research. More ABP information can be found at In addition, the Kempe Center offers the Berger Fellowship, a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship.

About Kempe

The Kempe Center was founded in 1972 by C. Henry Kempe, MD, a former University of Colorado School of Medicine Chairman of Pediatrics. His 1962 publication of the landmark paper The Battered Child, establishing one of the nation's first Child Protection Teams in 1958 and founding of the national center in Denver, are both legacy and foundation for the current University of Colorado School of Medicine child advocacy and protection system of care.

The faculty at The Kempe Center consists of pediatricians, social workers, lawyer, epidemiologists, child welfare services researchers and psychology and psychiatry clinicians. Our strength-based, family centered, and competency-based training program for child welfare professionals has educational experts in adult learning.  Children’s Hospital Colorado clinical staff have many faculty colleagues in the Departments of General Pediatrics, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, Social Work and Surgery who provide excellent interdisciplinary care with our team for suspected child abuse victims and their families. For more information about the center, please visit

Past trainees continue very active involvement in the field of child abuse pediatrics and have become nationally recognized for their work with abused children as academic faculty, clinicians, and educators.

Program Aims

  • The Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship will train pediatricians to become clinical, academic, educational and administrative leaders in the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics. The fellowship has the core goal to promote the health, safety and well-being of all children by assuring that there are well trained subspecialists the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics.
  • Fellows will learn to provide patient care to children and adolescents with suspected abuse in a family-centered, culturally-sensitive, developmentally-focused manner and within a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) that is broadly inclusive and evidence-based. The MDT model for the diagnosis and treatment of child abuse is emphasized. Successful completion of training depends on the demonstrated ability to utilize and coordinate care within health care and child welfare systems in order to provide optimal care and advocacy for patients, families and communities
  • The program also trains fellows to grow as experts in the education of multidisciplinary professionals, as well as graduate medical education learners in our school and hospitals. Fellows who successfully complete training will have developed a teaching portfolio that addresses the scope of education in our field and advocacy for the issue of child maltreatment. The program provides basic research skills needed for completion of core scholarship requirement and graduate fellows who will advance the evidence base of the field.
  • To build and maintain an infrastructure to recruit diverse fellows and provide an inclusive learning environment that promotes and celebrates differences.

Clinical Training

Clinical training during the fellowship includes extensive experience with the Child Protection Team, a shared multidisciplinary program of Children's Hospital Colorado and The Kempe Center. The team is the only hospital based multidisciplinary child abuse team in the state. The team evaluates and provides treatment annually for children who are suspected child abuse victims. Physicians, healthcare professionals, families, human services, law enforcement, and others in the Rocky Mountain Region refer to the team for consultation, treatment services, and support. Children's Hospital Colorado is the only Level One Pediatric Trauma Center in Colorado with very active Emergency Medicine, Trauma, General Surgery and Neurosurgery, and Burn Unit services.

Fellows participate in the medical diagnosis, consultation, and treatment of children who are admitted to Children's Hospital Colorado for serious injuries resulting from suspected physical abuse or neglect and sexual assault. The team also consults on factitious illness, nonorganic failure to thrive, neglect, child deaths, and sexual abuse cases. A weekly clinic evaluates cases of child abuse in an interdisciplinary team approach. Fellows learn how to obtain a detailed child abuse history, how to recognize and diagnose abusive injuries, how to analyze the mechanics of inflicted injury, how to interview families and children in the hospital setting, how to use diagnostic tests, and how to document abuse. Fellows will attend and participate in forensic autopsies of children who die from child abuse or other injuries and can participate in local child fatality review teams.

Clinical call is shared with attending faculty who are based at Children’s Hospital Colorado and our teaching affiliate Denver Health Medical Center. Rotations at the Denver County SAFE Center and local child advocacy centers are part of training.

Fellows will interact with the staff psychologist of the Stress, Trauma, Adversity Research, and Treatment (START) Center, a behavioral health clinic for exposure to the mental health outcomes of child abuse and neglect. Fellows can also interact with and participate in the other programs of the Kempe Center.

Integral to medical evaluation is learning how to work with social service and law enforcement agencies to protect children at risk for abuse, death, or serious disability from abuse and neglect. Fellows learn about the legal systems involved in child protection and child abuse prosecution through didactic lectures, weekly child protection team interdisciplinary review, and direct court experience. The fellows learn state child abuse laws, how to be an effective witness, and how to document and present cases for the legal system. Court testimony by fellows is an expected part of training.

Research Training

Fellows are required to complete the Department of Pediatrics fellow education series, which includes didactic courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design. These courses include examinations and projects with pass / fail grades. The cost of the course is covered by the program.

Additional training in the CCTSI Clinical Science Graduate Training Program is optional. Fellows are required to design and complete an independent study that can result in national abstract presentation and publication. Ample opportunity exists for presentation of abstracts and lectures at local and national child abuse conferences.

Membership in the Ray E. Helfer Society and attendance at the annual conference is supported. Formal courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design offered by the Colorado School of Public Health can be taken by fellows. A free annual fellowship research training summer institute for all national CAP fellows is held at the Kempe Center which is supported by PI  Dr. Desmond Runyan. 

Learning Opportunities

Subspecialty Excellence in Educational Leadership & Scholarship (SEELS) Program :

  • The University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics is proud of offer the Subspecialty Excellence in Educational Leadership & Scholarship (SEELS) Program  for subspecialty pediatric fellows committed to an academic career in medical education.
  • The SEELS program guides fellows through an 18-month program that   provides research mentorship, coaching, and instruction.
  • The overall  goal of SEELS is to equip these fellows with the necessary knowledge/skills/attitudes for success as future medical educators through educational scholarship and professional identity development, faculty and peer mentorship, and engaging in an educational community of practice.

Pediatric Fellowship Educational Series

This educational series has been developed by the Committee on Fellowship Education to address areas  of scholarly interest common to all pediatric fellows. Nearly 100 sub-specialized physicians in training will attend 5-6 half-day seminars spread across their 3 years of fellowship.

  • Attendance is mandatory and the trainee is excused from clinical responsibilities.
  • In addition to providing core educational material, these sessions allow trainees in different disciplines and throughout the department to meet and interact with one another in an informal and collegial environment.
  • Occurs several times per year throughout fellowship with fellows of different subspecialties

Pediatric Biostatistics for Clinicians Course:

This course is primarily intended for 2nd and 3rd year Department of Pediatrics fellows as part of the comprehensive fellowship educational program. Designed to help fellows to develop an ability to be a critical consumer of the literature and develop familiarity with many commonly used statistical methods.

  • This course comprises for six  2-hour sessions
  • Designed for second year fellows, but any fellow or resident an register for the course.

Advanced Degrees Available at CU:

Masters of Public Health

Masters of Science in Clinical Science

Where to Apply

Our pediatric fellowships will be conducting virtual interviews for this upcoming interview season.  We look forward to sharing our programs with you and getting to know more about you. Our planned virtual interview dates are forthcoming.

If you have questions about the online application and interview process feel free to reach out to our program coordinator.

All application material should be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We participate in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Required application materials include a completed ERAS common application form, curriculum vitae, a USMLE (or COMLEX/ECFMG) transcript, a personal statement addressing your interest in Child Abuse Pediatrics, and 3 letters of recommendation. 

ERAS Application Timeline

Monday, May 31, 2024ERAS 2024 season ends at 5 p.m. ET.
Wednesday, June 5, 2024ERAS 205 season begins at 9 a.m. ET.
Thursday, June 5, 2024EFDO will release tokens to fellowship applicants.
Wednesday, July 3, 2024July cycle fellowship applicants may begin submitting applications to programs at 9 a.m. ET.
Wednesday, July 17, 2024July cycle fellowship programs may begin reviewing applications at 9 a.m. ET.
May 31, 2025    ERAS 2025 season ends at 5 p.m. ET.

NRMP Fall Match Timeline

Dates Activity
Wednesday, August 21, 2024Match Opens 
Wednesday, September 25, 2024Ranking Opens
Wednesday, November 6, 2024Quota Change Deadline
Wednesday, November 20, 2024Rank Order List Certification Deadline
Wednesday, December 4, 2024MATCH DAY

Who Should Apply

We hope to attract applicants who are motivated and self-directed learners who want to develop academic careers based on excellence in research, scholarship, education and clinical care in Child Abuse Pediatrics. To be considered for admission to our program, applicants must have successfully completed training in an ACGME-accredited residency program in Pediatrics. Application for medical license in the State of Colorado must be completed before initiation of training.

How We Interview

Our pediatric fellowships will be conducting virtual interviews for this upcoming interview season during September, October and early November.  We look forward to sharing our programs with you and getting to know more about you.  Our planned virtual interview dates are under review and we  will communicate those directly to applicants.

Salary and Benefits

The University of Colorado offers salary and benefits packages that are competitive with other fellowship programs across the country. Current salary levels can be found at the School of Medicine - Graduate Medical Education Stipends

Who to Contact 

Andrew Sirotnak, MD
Director, Fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics
Children's Hospital Colorado
13123 East 16th Avenue, B138
Aurora, CO  80045
Phone: 720-777-6919 
Fax: 720-777-7253
E-mail:  Andrew.Sirotnak

Current Fellows


1st Year - Carmelle Wallace, MD
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine
Residency: University of Texas at Southwestern
Fellowship completed: Pediatric  Emergency Medicine and Global Health, Children's Hospital Philadelphia
Research Interests:  public health care for vulnerable populations, including child trafficking, and global health

Finnegan Kelly Photo (002)

2nd Year - Kelly Finnegan, MD
Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine
Residency: University of Vermont Children’s Hospital
Research Interests: Medical child abuse and the health care needs of children in foster care

Past Fellows

Past trainees proudly continue their work in the field and many are nationally recognized for their work with abused children as clinicians, educators, advocates, and researchers.

Name Year Completed  Current Position / Faculty Appointment  Location 
Jessie Panks, MD 2021 Pediatrics Practice, Washington Woodinville Pediatrics Group
Sasha Svendsen, MD  2017 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Division Chief, Child Protection Program
U Mass Chan Medical School
Curtis Rashaan Ford, MD 2013 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of Colorado SOM
Sandeep Narang, MD 2008 Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Section of Child Advocacy and Protection
Medical College of Wisconsin
Antonia Chiesa, MD 2005 Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Integrated Healthcare Operations and Services, The Kempe Center
University of Colorado SOM
Kathryn Wells, MD 2002 Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director, The Kempe Center University of Colorado SOM
Tamara Grigsby, MD 2001 Professor of Pediatrics OHSU, Portland, OR
Patti Rosquist, MD 1999 Pediatric Practice Longmont, CO
Timothy Kutz, MD 1997 Professor of Pediatrics St. Louis University SOM
Dede Arnholz, MD 1998 Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Kaiser Permanente, CO
Kent Hymel, MD 1996 Professor of Pediatrics Hershey College Medicine, retired
Suzanne P. Starling, MD 1995 Professor of Pediatrics Eastern Virginia Medical School
Andrew Sirotnak, MD 1994 Professor of Pediatrics, Vice Chair Faculty Affairs University of Colorado SOM
Susan K. Reichert, MD 1993 Previous Director, Child Advocacy Bend, OR
Diversity / Equity / Inclusion


The Department of Pediatrics believes that an environment of inclusiveness and respect promotes excellence, and that a setting where diversity is valued leads to the training of physicians who are prepared to practice culturally effective medicine and meet the needs of the various populations we serve.

Visit our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page to learn more...



Well-Being / Resilience

Be well

By embracing wellness and improving personal resiliency, physicians can reconnect with the meaning of their work and fend off stress. Reducing or eliminating burnout also has practical implications for the entire department such as improving patient safety, student advancement, and the overall campus environment. 

Visit our Pediatric Well-Being and Resilience website...


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