Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship

Welcome to the Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) fellowship program at Children’s Minnesota. You have chosen to explore one of the country’s premiere PEM fellowship programs – for over 25 years we have trained fellows to be experts in the field of pediatric emergency medicine. We work hard to provide an environment where fellows can push themselves to be their best; a place filled with a culture of learning, and advancement of our craft.

The Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine is comprised of our staff physicians, nurse practitioners, and ancillary staff. We are one of the largest groups in the nation. Both of our main hospitals are staffed 24/7/365 with BC/BE PEM physicians. In addition to a complete array of pediatric subspecialists, we have numerous resources available in our emergency departments including interpreter services, social services, child life specialists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, medical scribes and research assistants.

  • Proudly sponsored by HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research in partnership with Region’s Hospital, home to one of the finest Emergency Medicine Residencies in the country.
  • Our PEM Fellowship provides the opportunity to work at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s campuses, which combined see more than 96,000 patient visits per year.
  • Our Minneapolis campus is the only free standing children’s hospital in the region that provides level I trauma services in a pediatric-specific setting.
  • Children’s St. Paul is the oldest children’s hospital in the state and provides some of the most advanced neurologic care in the nation.
  • Regions Hospital serves as the training site for rotations in adult emergency medicine, emergency medical services and toxicology. It is a designated level 1 trauma center for adults and pediatric patients in St. Paul, and also boasts a national recognized burn center.
  • Our program includes 9 fellows, with support from over 40 board certified PEM physicians.

Our Level I pediatric trauma center at Children’s Minneapolis is verified by the American College of Surgeons and is run in conjunction with our trauma surgeons and trauma physician assistants. Children’s is the only level 1 trauma center in the state of Minnesota, as well as parts of western Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Our leadership

  • Joe Arms, MD – Fellowship Program Director
  • Kara Seaton, MD – Associate Fellowship Director
  • Kelly Bergman, DO – Associate Fellowship  Director, Research Director
  • Cullen Hegarty, MD – Region’s Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director
  • Heather Pomeroy, Fellowship Coordinator

Emergency department leadership

Meet the faculty

Below is a list of our faculty in the Pediatric Emergency Fellowship program. Click on their names to view their profile.

Meet the fellows

Class of 2018

Saydi Chahla, MD
Residency: University of Minnesota (Pediatrics)
Medical School: University of Minnesota

Carly Theiler, MD
Residency: University of Minnesota (Pediatrics)
Medical School: American University

Class of 2019

Callie Becker, MD
Residency: Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals (Pediatrics)
Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin

Amy Borden, DO
Residency: University of Minnesota (Pediatrics)
Medical School: Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine

Jennifer Thompson, MD
Residency: University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (Pediatrics)
Medical School: University of Minnesota

Christopher Ford, MD
Residency: University of Wisconsin, Madison (Emergency Medicine)
Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin

Class of 2020

Vivianne Tchonang Leuche, MD
Residency: University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital (Pediatrics)
Medical School: University of Minnesota

Normaliz Rodriguez, MD
Residency: University of Puerto Rico (Pediatrics)
Medical School: Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine

Meet the alumni

(Faculty position after fellowship)

Class of 2017

Meghan Cain, MD(Mayo Clinic – Rochester, MN)
Michael McWay, MD (Pediatric ultrasound fellowship, New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital – Brooklyn, NY)
David Piechota, MD (Essentia Health St. Mary’s – Duluth, MN)

Class of 2016

Kelly Bergmann, DO (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN; Ultrasound fellowship – Hennepin County Medical Center)
Meghann Ronning, MD (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN)
Jonathan Stutt, MD (University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital – Minneapolis, MN)

Class of 2015

Anna Depompolo, MD (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN)
Kara Seaton, MD (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN)

Class of 2014

Leena Sastry, MD (St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University – St. Louis, MO)

Class of 2013

Annalisa Rudser, MD (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN)
Funmi Salami, MD (Emory University Hospital – Atlanta, GA)
Beth Placzek, DO (Mayo Clinic – Rochester, MN)

Class of 2012

Jen Longo, MD (All Children’s Hospital – St. Petersburg, FL)

Class of 2011

Jeff Dahlen, MD (Children’s Minnesota, Ridgeview Medical Center – Minneapolis, MN)
Jen Halverson, MD (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN)
Tom Skrypek, MD (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN)

Class of 2010

Vaishali Jha, MD (Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN)

Our fellowship program emphasizes the ACGME six core competencies (patient care, medical knowledge, practice based learning, interpersonal skills, professionalism, and systems based practice). The following goals will be accomplished through a variety of activities during the course of the fellowship:


  • Develop skills in initial assessment, resuscitation, stabilization and early management of pediatric emergencies.
  • Gain broad knowledge and skills in common and uncommon pediatric emergencies.
  • Become competent in the assessment and management of pediatric trauma.
  • Gain knowledge of bedside ultrasound and its application in pediatric emergency medicine.
  • Acquire necessary skills in the field of adult emergency medicine and trauma.


  • Develop effective bedside and didactic teaching skills, for use with both families and medical trainees.
  • Learn to use Simulation as teaching tool for procedural competence and improving communication skills.
  • Opportunities may include becoming PALS instructor and presenting and educating at conferences throughout the community.


  • Develop a foundation in the research process through formal training.
  • Gain experience in grant writing, project development, paper presentation.
  • Grasp basic concepts of statistics and epidemiology.
  • Compete a written scholarly project, as required for board certification by the American Board of Pediatrics.


  • Understand the relationship of Emergency Medicine to hospital administration and committees.
  • Become familiar with medical/legal issues, handling parent complaints, quality improvement, finances and scheduling.
  • Understand state and regional administrative control of Emergency Medicine Systems.

Rotation curriculum

Fellows who have previously completed an EM residency operate on a two-year curriculum. Those who have completed a Pediatric residency function as a junior faculty in their second and third year. There is more than sufficient time and support to complete all requirements of the ABP and ACGME relevant to fellowship.

During emergency medicine rotations, fellows spend time in both of our pediatric emergency departments. Shifts vary to allow for a variety of experiences, includes being an active participant and leader in traumas and medical resuscitations. In addition to standard shifts, fellows will have opportunities to complete ultrasound scanning shifts and procedure shifts to practice procedures such as suturing, foreign body removal, nail bed repairs and blocks.

Pediatric Residency Track
Emergency Medicine Residency Track


Our fellows have protected education days every month. Some of our conferences are in collaboration with Region’s Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center. Fellows have opportunities to teach or present cases at these conferences throughout the year.


  • Trauma Grand Rounds (combined with Region’s EM)
  • Pediatric Critical Case Presentation (combined with Region’s EM)
  • PEM Board Review
  • Simulation
  • PEM Journal Club
  • Toxicology Journal Club (held quarterly with Hennepin Regional Poison Center)
  • Children’s PEM Staff Meeting Case Presentation
  • Faculty Lectures
  • Research, Epidemiology and Statistics conferences
  • University of Minnesota, Smiley’s Family Medicine Lecture (annually)
  • Hospital-wide Disaster Drill Simulation (annually)

Additional training

Our fellows have the opportunity to attend a number of other training courses, conferences, national meetings, and credentialing courses. CME or Department funds are available to cover the cost of course fees, national meetings, certifications, and professional society memberships. We have adequate funds to cover travel to an additional conference (once annually). CME specific money is also available for textbooks and/or computer software (i.e. statistical programs, reference management software, etc.)

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow’s Conference
  • Practical Emergency Airway Course (Dr. Levitan’s course)
  • Children’s Minnesota Wound Management Course
  • Academic meetings: PAS, AAP, ACEP, etc

We seek physicians who have completed three years of training in a pediatrics or emergency medicine residency. Our PEM fellowship participates with the pediatric specialties fall match through National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

We accept applications July 15th–September 30th via ERAS. After completion of the application in its entirety, interviews will be offered to select applicants and scheduled accordingly. Interviews typically take place in September and October.

  • Completed ERAs application.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, at least 1 from pediatric emergency medicine faculty.
  • Residency program director letter of recommendation and verification that applicant is in good standing.
  • One-page personal statement.
  • Results of USMLE testing.

Please note: Our program is listed in FREIDA under our sponsoring institution, HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research under Pediatric Emergency Medicine Programs. You may also search for us using our program ID (1142631025).

Our PEM fellows are supported by a robust team through the Children’s Minnesota Research Institute.

Research team

PEM fellows work closely with PhD’s (statistical support), clinical research coordinators (IRB and grant support), and research assistants (we employ a number of RAs for prospective data collection). A number of PEM faculty are dedicated as academic faculty. We have numerous ongoing projects in our department and there are ample opportunities for our fellows to pursue their clinical interests.

  • Gretchen Cutler, PhD, MPH – Epidemiologist, Scientific Investigator
  • Alicia Zagel, PhD – Scientific Investigator
  • Heidi Vander Velden, MS – Senior Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Ernest Krause, BA – Clinical Research Associate, level II
  • Brianna McMichael, MS – Research Coordinator
  • Angela Plaisance – Grants and Contract Specialist

Academic faculty

A number of our faculty are dedicated to academics and have devoted time for clinical research and/or teaching.  Our fellows have ample opportunities to engage in research and explore their clinical interests.

Contact us

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