HUNTINGTON — The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine now offers a pediatric hospital medicine fellowship. The university says it is the first fellowship of its kind in West Virginia.

The new two-year fellowship program focuses on developing physicians who take a lead role in caring for pediatric patients in a hospital setting. The new medical specialty was established in 2016 to raise the level of care for hospitalized children and address growing pediatric workforce shortages across the nation. Three of Marshall’s faculty members hold subspecialty certification in pediatric hospital medicine.

“Hospitalists are focused on quality and continuity of care for all hospitalized patients. That role becomes especially important when working with children who may not be able to tell you how they’re feeling or what hurts,” said Dr. Susan L. Flesher, an associate professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatric residency and pediatric hospital medicine fellowship programs at Marshall’s School of Medicine.

In July 2020, the program will welcome its first two fellows.

Dr. Jessica L. Ford earned her medical degree from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine/Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. She is currently completing a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, Illinois.

Dr. Patricia A. Tran earned her medical degree from Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. She is currently completing her pediatric residency at Mercer University/Navicent Health in Macon.

At the completion of their training, the fellows will be eligible to sit for subspecialty certification in Pediatric Hospital Medicine from the American Board of Pediatrics.

“Our relationship with Mountain Health Network and Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital makes Marshall an ideal training location for this type of program,” Flesher said. “Building on the continued success of our pediatric residency program, the critical care and other pediatric specialists on our faculty will work closely with trainees to provide in depth education and experiences in procedural sedation, quality improvement science, clinical and translational research, medical education and child advocacy.”

Pediatric hospital medicine fellowships are not currently accredited, as the process has only recently been established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Marshall will apply for accreditation in the first available cycle.

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