Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

The Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine delivers highly specialized emergency care for New Mexico’s severely ill and injured children, promotes an outstanding pediatric emergency medicine training program, partners with rural clinical sites in preparation for pediatric emergencies, and researches methods to improve pediatric emergency care. Division faculty are board certified or eligible in pediatric emergency medicine.


Clinical Care

The University of New Mexico Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) cares for 25,000 children annually and serves as both the state’s only dedicated PED and level 1 Trauma center. It cares for children across the Southwest and operates 24 hours a day. It has 12 physical beds and is staffed by pediatric emergency medicine and emergency medicine attending physicians, fellows, residents, and nurses dedicated to the care of children. We also provide direct patient consultation via telemedicine to sites throughout New Mexico.


Pediatric Emergency Medicine Education

The Division is committed to providing outstanding training for medical students, residents, and fellows in the care and management of acutely ill and injured children.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship

The division supports an accredited Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship for physicians that are board eligible in Pediatrics or Emergency Medicine. The fellowship accepts two trainees per year through the NRMP.

​Fellows have access to community outreach through our Child Ready program and also benefit from our close relationship with the Emergency Medicine Residency offering access to the EMS Consortium, the Center for Disaster Medicine, Wilderness Medicine, and exceptional education and experience in trauma, airway management, and ultrasound.

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While I never expected to come to New Mexico, the pediatric emergency training I received here absolutely prepared me for world-class pediatric emergency clinical care!

David Jolley, Graduated Fellow

Resident Rotation

The Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine supports our hospitals residencies by providing patient care experience and in person education. In addition, we offer a one-month “acting fellowship” for interested third year internal pediatric residents as an elective.

  • 4-week rotations
  • Residents in Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine
  • Supervising attendings BC/BE in Pediatric Emergency Medicine or Emergency Medicine

    Click Here to Learn More

Medical Student Elective

The Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine supports the University of New Mexico Medical School by offering month long rotations for its 4th year students. Students work closely with our PEM fellows and attendings to build competency in performing targeted history and physicals, developing broad differential diagnoses, implementing patient management plans, and improving procedural skills.

For more information please Click Here for the University of New Mexico Medical School site.

Medical students from other institutions interested in applying for a 4th year visiting rotation at UNM.

Click Here to Learn More

Child Ready Program

The New Mexico EMSC Child Ready Initiative is a multi-faceted program that reaches out to rural and tribal communities promoting awareness of their own abilities and challenges in treating the acutely ill or injured children.

EMS for Children – Child Ready includes an emphasis of quality of care, continuity of care, family-centered care, cultural diversity, and injury prevention.

Child Ready Program Objectives

The main objectives of the initiative are:

  • Assist health care providers in communities, hospitals and EMS services improve their pediatric skills and increase knowledge regarding treatment of the emergently ill or injured child.
  • Help providers become child advocates for their own communities for the health and safety of their children.
  • Engage tribal and rural communities to expand the Child Ready Virtual Pediatric Telehealth Network throughout New Mexico.
  • Create a telehealth culture of daily, ongoing communication, in real time, that includes regularly scheduled weekly communications, education and direct patient consultations.

Ensure that each child receive the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.

Child Ready Program Overview

UNM HSC TV Highlights the Child Ready Program with Robert Sapien, MD

New Mexico EMSC Child Ready Initiative

Our telehealth network allows near immediate pediatric emergency specialist consultation to distant hospitals, providers, and patients. This helps children stay in their own community by allowing face-to-face consultation with distant providers and patients.

The program goals are to support rural, tribal, and frontier sites by offering:

  • Patient consultations in the field of pediatric emergency medicine and urgent care by our providers.

  • Co-management of the pediatric patient following consultations with originating sites.

  • Continuing medical education in pediatric emergency medicine and suspected child abuse assessment.

  • Education about injury prevention (including suspected child abuse and neglect).

Telehealth helps children stay in their own communities, decreasing the need for parents to drive long distances for their child's medical care.

Contact person for further information is:

EMSC Program Manager
Katherine Schafer
(505) 272-6024

Is your emergency department child ready? Do you want to be? Our NM EMSC works with facilities like yours to complete the national assessment tool to help determine your emergency departments readiness for pediatric emergencies.

After completing the tool, you will receive a “Pediatric Readiness Gap Analysis Report” that summarizes your strengths and weaknesses in pediatric emergency care and compares your score with the national average.

As part of EMSC Child Ready, we will work with you to identify improvement areas and design a program to help you reach your goals for improvement and improve your pediatric readiness!

For more information, please contact hsc-childready@salud.unm.edu

This is part of the National Pediatric Readiness Project to ensure that all emergency departments in the United States have the essential guidelines and resources to provide effective emergency care for children based on the “Guidelines for Care of Children in the Emergency Department.” This aligns with the joint policy statement “Pediatric Readiness in the Emergency Department”

Treating seriously sick or injured children makes even skilled health care providers anxious. A Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator (PECC) is a designated “Pediatric Champion” or an individual responsible for coordinating pediatric-specific activities identified in each agency that responds to pediatric emergencies.

New Mexico is focusing on implementing these Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinators in our EMS agencies, hospitals, and communities to advocate for the needs of children through the continuum of care.

PECCs advocate for pediatric care by helping coordinate care locally, aiding in education, and serving as liaisons with the NM EMS-C Program.  This can be one or more people within your hospital, clinic, school, EMS agency, outside your agency, or a Program Agency representative serving a region as the PECC.

Our EMSC Child Ready program is happy to work with your PECC or support you in identifying a PECC within your agency. Pediatric Champions will have access to resources including educational opportunities, polices/procedures, quality improvement training, and safety practices.  

Please contact Child Ready for more information.

The New Mexico Child Ready Project has implemented a voluntary recognition program to identify Emergency Departments in New Mexico that are pediatric ready. All New Mexico Emergency Departments and EMS Services can achieve ANY of these categories – there is no requirement for pediatric specialists, inpatient services, or a minimum volume of patients.

New Mexico Child Ready Awards:
  • Pediatric Engaged ED (Bronze level): Designated PECC and completion of the readiness survey
  • Pediatric Ready ED (Silver level): Engaged + Pediatric Readiness Score > 70%
  • Pediatric Read ED (Gold level): Engaged + Pediatric Readiness Score > 80% + sharing programs with other EDs
Before starting:
  1. Please review these requirements with your emergency department leadership to obtain support in participating.
  2. Designate pediatric champion(s)
  3. Upload a signed letter of intent
  4. Complete one of our online applications:

Announcement of status is made quarterly an NM EMSC Child Ready Meetings and is valid for 2 years. EMSC provides certificates for dissemination.

Research and Scholarship

Our faculty and fellows actively participant in pediatric emergency research crossing a variety of topics.

Prior fellows have done research in:
  • Community Preparedness
  • Evaluation of Anti-venom efficacy and Side Effects
  • Education on Respiratory Distress
  • Family Perceptions Respiratory Illness
  • Home Safety
  • Low Fidelity Simulation
  • Reduction of Head CT Utilization
  • Telemedicine Barriers and Supports
  • Use of MRI for Appendicitis
Faculty Academic Interests include:
  • Asthma
  • BRUE
  • Community Preparedness
  • Croup
  • EMSC
  • Home Oxygen for Bronchiolitis
  • Simulation and Resuscitation
  • Sepsis
  • Telemedicine
  • Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion
  • Trauma Imaging
  • Ultrasound