History of Pediatric Hospital Medicine

The Pediatric Hospital Medicine program was established in 2006 under the leadership of Jennifer Reese, MD. Reese served as the first interim section head from 2009 to 2011, when the Section of Pediatric Hospital Medicine was formally established. Karen Wilson, MD, MPH, was named the first section head.

The hospitalist program, which now cares for more than 12,000 inpatients each year, grew out of the outpatient pediatric emergency services Children’s provided at partnering metro-Denver hospitals. Steven Poole, MD, section head of Community Pediatrics, was known for finding innovative solutions to problematic situations.

When family physicians on staff at Lutheran Medical Center asked if his team could see hospitalized children and well newborns in addition to emergency patients, he agreed, establishing Children’s first community hospital site. When Parker Adventist Hospital opened in 2004, Children’s Hospital was chosen to provide all emergency and inpatient care. This established Children’s first facility hospitalist program and started Children’s Network of Care, an integrated system encompassing some 20 sites along the Front Range and ensuring high-quality pediatric coverage.

With the 2007 opening of the new Children’s Hospital Colorado on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus—formerly the Fitzsimons Medical Campus, the number of staff hospitalists increased significantly. Today, Section Head Jennifer Reese, MD, directs a team of more than 85 providers. David Scudamore, MD, serves as director of clinical operations, guiding complex day-to-day operations.

The care and quality benefits of this full-time presence are powerful, Reese confirms. “As hospitalists, we’re here every hour, every day, caring for all the patients who are not on the specialty services.

“We also provide expert care coordination across the continuum, help families navigate their child’s needs, and make a robust contribution to research, quality improvement, and education, locally and nationally. We interface with pediatric, family practice, and psychiatry residents, and we educate advanced practice professionals, medical, nursing, and physician assistant students. This is high-touch, high-impact care.”

Most recently, the creation of a two-year, Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship program was established and received accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 2020.

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