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CU School of Medicine Fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics

View from Denver's City Park  

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 offer a three-year post-residency fellowship in child abuse pediatrics. The goal of the fellowship is to provide physicians who are board eligible or board certified in pediatrics with in-depth and intensive training in child abuse pediatrics that will prepare them for a clinical or academic career dedicated to the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics, which is now a recognized ABP subspecialty. More ABP information can be found at In addition, the Kempe Center offers the Berger Fellowship, a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship.

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, a pediatric lawyer, epidemiologists, child welfare services researchers, and psychology and psychiatry staff. Children's Hospital Colorado clinical staff have many faculty colleagues in the Departments of General Pediatrics, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, and Surgery who provide excellent interdisciplinary care with the team for suspected child abuse victims and their families. For more information, 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.

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, and how to use diagnostic tests 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 Family Crisis Center and local child advocacy centers are part of training.

Fellows will interact with the staff psychologist of the behavioral health clinic for exposure to the mental health outcomes of child abuse and neglect. Fellows can also interact with and participate in 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. Formal courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design offered by the Colorado School of Public Health can be taken by fellows.

Fellowship Education

Fellows have a wealth of opportunities to enhance their knowledge and professional growth through many activities. Provision of clinical supervision to medical students, residents, and other trainees is expected. Lectures, hospital seminars, and clinical care conferences within the residency program and in the community are among these teaching opportunities. Through active participation in weekly Child Protection Team meetings, the fellow will gain the ability to function within a multidisciplinary team and interact with many different child welfare colleagues.  Fellows will also have the opportunity to learn how a hospital or community based child protection team or child advocacy center operates. Close observation of and participation in the program's operation will allow the fellow to gain an understanding of budget development, clinic management and quality assurance and improvement issues.

Where to Apply

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.


Fall Match Schedule

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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

Competitive applicants are offered on-site interviews on several days during August, September, and October. On the interview day, candidates will be provided an overview of the program and will meet individually with members of the faculty during the morning including the Fellowship Director, Kempe Center Director , and  will tour  Children's Hospital Colorado.  Candidates will also have lunch with faculty and current fellow. 


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


Michele Bialkowski 

Program Coordinator

13123 East 16th Avenue, Box 251

Aurora, CO  80045

Phone: 303-724-2566

Fax: 720-777-7317

E-mail: Michele.Bialkowski


Current Fellow

Panks,Jessica (036) 2018.jpg 

Jessica Lynn Panks, MD


Medical School: Georgetown University School of Medicine

Residency:  Duke University Hospital

Research Interests:  TBD

Email:  Jessica.Panks  


Previous Fellows


Current Position
​Sasha Svendsen, MD ​2017 ​Assistant Professor of Pediatrics ​​University of Massachusetts Medical School
Curtis Rashaan Ford, MD 2013 Pediatric Faculty, Clinical Practice Castle Rock, CO
Sandeep Narang, MD 2008 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Northwestern University,
Feinberg SOM, Chicago, IL
Antonia Chiesa, MD 2005 Assistant Professor of Pediatrics CU SOM
Kathryn M. Wells, MD 2002 Associate Professor of Pediatrics CU SOM/DHMC
Tamara Grigsby, MD 2001 Associate Professor of Pediatrics OHSU, Portland, OR
Patti Rosquist, MD 1999 Pediatric Practice Longmont, CO
Timothy Kutz, MD 1997 Associate Professor of Pediatrics St. Louis University SOM
Dede Arnholz, MD 1998 Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Kaiser Permanente, CO
Kent Hymel, MD 1996 Professor of Pediatrics Hershey College Medicine
Suzanne Starling, MD 1995 Professor of Pediatrics San Diego SOM/Rady Children's Hospital
Andrew Sirotnak, MD 1994 Professor of Pediatrics CU SOM
Susan K. Reichert, MD 1993 Past Director, Child Advocacy Bend, OR