Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship


Pediatric Intensive Care at the Penn State Children's Hospital continues to be one of the nation's leaders in providing excellent, quality care to the children of central PA. As of February 2013, the hospital opened its doors to a new dedicated children's hospital.  Our new intensive care unit boasts 18 state of the art private rooms.

The children's hospital has active programs in all aspects of pediatric medicine and surgery including trauma, transplantation, and cardiothoracic surgery. Penn State Children's Hospital is a level one trauma center. Technologies offered include invasive and non-invasive cardiorespiratory monitoring, conventional and non- conventional modes of mechanical ventilation, inhaled respiratory gases including nitric oxide therapy, renal replacement therapies, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The Pediatric Critical Care Service is the primary service responsible for the management of all medical admissions to the PICU.  A unique and strong collaborative relationship with our surgical colleagues enables our team to be integrally involved in every aspect of the hour to hour management of all trauma and surgical patients in the PICU.

Up to ten full-time and three part-time board certified critical care attendings staff the intensive care unit at all times. Recent outcomes evaluation comparing PICUs nationwide demonstrated that the Penn State Children's Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit's severity of illness adjusted mortality to be amongst the highest in the nation which allows for a quite expansive clinical experience for physicians in training.

PCCM Faculty:

Our fellowship:
The Department of Pediatrics at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and the Pennsylvania State Children's Hospital accepts one fellow per year in its critical care fellowship.

The role of the PICU fellow:
Our fellows will acquire knowledge and skills in providing excellent care to critically ill children.  They function on the front line for the clinical management of all medical and surgical patients admitted to the PICU and will have daily exposure to post-operative cardiothoracic surgical patients as well as primary responsibility for these patients during night-call and on weekends.   Scholarly activity in the form of a primary research project as well as a quality improvement project is encouraged and required. 
The curriculum:
The 36 month fellowship training program includes:
• 1 month of pediatric anesthesia
• 15 months of clinical pediatric critical care
• 2 months of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery
• 18 months of research
There is some flexibility that can be applied to accommodate special interests during clinical months (such as outside clinical rotations, participating in the CT Surgery trip to Ecuador), that will be considered and arranged on a case-by-case basis.
Four weeks per year of vacation may be divided during the research rotations.

Faculty and fellows in the PICU at Penn State Hershey are committed to excellence in patient care, and this includes conducting research to improve the care we provide.  Members of our division are active participants in several key centers here at Penn State Hershey and our faculty and fellows have been fortunate enough to work in the labs of established researchers.

Members of our division are leaders in several national and international research consortiums and advocacy programs.  Fellows will have the opportunity to witness and participate in the activities of these programs:

  • PALISI (Pediatric Acute Lung Injury & Sepsis Investigators)
  • EPIC (Education in Pediatric Critical Care)
  • PALICC (Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference)

Our faculty have the following research and clinical interests:         

Gary Ceneviva

  • Post-op Cardiac Critical Care
  • Shock
  • Ethics / Palliative care

Michael Dettorre

  • Chronic home mechanical ventilation

Scott Halstead

  • Immune Modulation

Steve Lucking

  • Septic Shock
  • Outcome measures / Quality Improvement
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Make-A- Wish Regional representative

Toah Nkromah

  • Global Health and Advocacy
  • Public Health Masters
  • Psychological impacts of critical care

Robert Tamburro

  • PREP ICU Editorial board member
  • Critical Illness in Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplant patients
  • Palliative Care
  • PALISI member

Neal Thomas

  • PALISI member
  • Acute Lung injury
  • Surfactant proteins
  • Genetic Epidemiology
  • PALICC Organizing committee

Conrad Krawiec

  • Use of technology in medical education and clinical care

Adrian Zurca

  • Education
  • Medical Simulation
  • Communication

Thaddeus Demartini

  • Process Improvement
  • Quality & Safety

Our faculty members are involved in patient advocacy programs.  Fellows may have the opportunity to participate in the activities of these programs:

Ecuador Mission Program: In the second and third year, Fellows may have the opportunity to participate in the Penn State Children's Hospital annual mission trip to Guayaquil, Ecuador with a team of pediatric heart surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, perfusionists, nurses, and residents, to assist in carrying out life-saving heart surgery for Ecuadorian children.  In this role they provide guidance and assistance in needed pre-operative and post-operative care. This gives fellows the opportunity to integrate their understanding of the complex world of congenital heart physiology in a developing country with different and limited resources.