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Division of Pediatric Critical Care

The Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (UTHSC) incorporates the academic program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Our mission is to serve each critically ill patient with the highest level of care, provide premier training for tomorrow’s clinician scientists while conducting vanguard research in the field of pediatric critical care medicine.

Our clinical program serves the mid-south regions of Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. Our team annually cares for 1,400-1,700 acutely ill patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), 150-200 patients with chronic medical conditions in the Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU), 100-150 patients in a dedicated Neuro-Intensive Care Unit, 300-350 postoperative cardiac patients in a dedicated Cardiovascular ICU (CVICU) at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, as well as 250-300 immune-compromised patients in the PICU at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital also serves as a Level 1 Trauma Center for children within the region.

Our robust research program includes bench research on a variety of conditions including the neurobiology of pain/stress in early life, cellular physiology of pulmonary conditions like asthma, integration of electronic technology for earlier diagnosis of severe sepsis, myocardial physiology in sepsis, and the immunobiology of bacterial infections, as well as a variety of clinical research projects.

Our program’s educational training is geared towards a philosophy of shaping the Clinician Scientists of tomorrow. Teaching activities include a vibrant fellowship program (3 fellows per year), the training of pediatric residents, as well as fellows from other sub-specialties including pediatric emergency medicine, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, and pediatric pulmonology. Our trainees are exposed to traditional bedside and didactic teaching, technical/procedural skills using ultrasound or video-guidance, web-based learning modules, and hi-fidelity simulation programs.

The Pediatric Intensive Care division also supports a dedicated Extracorporeal Life Support System (ECLS) program served by a pioneering group of physicians and ECLS nurses and respiratory therapists. Our center has a dedicated simulation program for ECMO training with an interest in developing cutting edge modules for ECMO education, safety and credentialing. Our division also provides apheresis support for the institution.

Collectively, the CCM Team seeks to accomplish the following broad goals:

  • build a cohesive and well-coordinated team, based on a shared vision and core values;
  • focus the research efforts of faculty and fellows into theme-oriented, hypothesis-driven research, worthy of state or federal funding and publication in high-impact journals;
  • mature from regional to national prominence in the field of Pediatric Critical Care, by achieving excellence in clinical care, cutting-edge research, and innovative teaching programs; and
  • build a clinical and research bridge with our sister institution, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to provide mutual growth.

Our motto is “The critically ill patient is the most important person in the Intensive Care Unit and we are here to serve him/her to the best of our abilities”. Our philosophy is based on creative energy, enthusiasm, and optimism. Come visit us, or join us, to experience the camaraderie and creativity in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, as we “strive to make miracles happen” in the lives of children - everyday.

– Samir Shah, MD, Division Chief

May 26, 2022