Pediatric Hospital Medicine

The Riley Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Riley Hospital
for Children at IU Health, IU Health Methodist,
IU Health West and IU Health North

Mission Statement 

The physicians who make up the Riley Pediatric Hospitalist Program are dedicated to excellence in patient and family centered care.  They share a common vision based on the ideals of outstanding patient care, high quality communication with each other and their colleagues, and a strong commitment to the mission of teaching and education.

The Pediatric Hospitalist Program is comprised of a group of clinicians, who are dedicated not only to individual excellence in clinical care, but also to the notion that the best care is delivered when the entire system aligns itself around a patient with the specific aim to deliver the highest quality, safest, and most efficient care.  The cornerstone of delivery of multidisciplinary care is collaboration with all members of the health care team.  As physician leaders of the multidisciplinary team, the pediatric hospital medicine group places an emphasis on mutual respect and collegiality and incorporates work ethic, resourcefulness, availability and dedication to shape the clinical care they deliver. 

The group’s cohesiveness and commitment to the practice of evidence-based medicine, manifests in the seamless transition of patient care and a consistent, harmonious practice style among faculty members within the group. As clinical educators at the core of pediatric rotations for hundred of medical students and pediatric residents, members of the group are instrumental in teaching clinical skills fundamental to the practice of pediatrics, as well as shaping the curriculum at the heart of medical education. 

The Riley Pediatric Hospitalist Program has a strong reputation nationally.  Its members are active within the academic community, and produce meaningful research by collaborating with others both within and outside the discipline of pediatric hospital medicine. The group works to advocate, not only for their individual patients, but for the well-being of pediatric patients across the entire nation. They demand excellence from their trainees and from themselves; living and working with an emphasis on personal integrity, and operating at a level which is consistent with the highest standards of professionalism.


The Riley Pediatric Hospitalist Program has strong roots in the Indianapolis community. The group was founded at Methodist hospital to serve the needs of the pediatrics ward in 2002 by Dr. Shannon Phillips. Dr. Jeffrey Sperring assumed leadership of the group in 2002. The group grew to provide care at the Clarian North facility in December 2005, Clarian West in January 2007, and Riley Hospital for Children (Indiana's first teritiary care children's hospital) in July 2007.

These four facilities are the Indianapolis base of the IU Health hospital system, Indiana's largest comprehensive health center. In service at these facilities, the group provides a range of care spanning delivery room and neonatal care to tertiary care management of pediatric patients.


The spectrum of patient care provided by the hospital medicine service provides a unique educational opportunity to our medical students, residents and fellow at the Indiana University School of Medicine. All members of the group are board certified pediatricians, and most have additional post residency training as either chief residents or additional fellowship or boards. The group includes pediatricians who are also board certified in toxicology, emergency medicine and internal medicine.

As an academic section within the department of pediatrics at IU, the group is a vital part of clinical education for medical students and residents at Methodist and Riley hospitals. The group is active in spearheading innovative education opportunities, involving everything from implementing new hospital practices to supervising teaching conferences.

The hospitalist group provides an innovative elective in pediatric hospital medicine for residents. By using the breadth and depth of skills and experiences that the four facilities provide, the curriculum for the elective was developed by Dr. Jennifer Walthall and has been presented at national conferences.

The Riley Pediatric Hospitalist Program is also proud to be one of the first ten fellowship programs for pediatric hospital medicine in the country. The GME-approved fellowship in pediatric hospital medicine was developed and established by Dr. Benjamin Bauer in 2008. The inaugural fellow, Dr. Jennifer Oshimura graduated the program in spring 2010. Under the leadership of Dr. Laurie Wilkie, the program promises to be on the forefront of the fast growing field of pediatric hospital medicine, augmenting the group's role in clinical service at all four sites and enhancing the educational mission of the group.

Clinical Service

Riley Hospital for Children

Riley Hospital for Children is a 300 bed comprehensive care children's hospital. The Hospital Medicine service provides family centered care for 100% of the general pediatric admissions at Riley, as well as consultation services to the surgical and sub-specialist services on general pediatric issues. The group also helps to coordinate and facilitate the transfer of patients to Riley Hospital from referring providers around the state.   

There are two full time hospitalists on service every day. Pediatric house staff, pediatric intensive care physicians, trauma surgeons and pediatric emergency medicine physicians are on-site and available 24 hours a day. The total patient volume for the pediatric hospital medicine service can range from 8 to 25 patients at any given time during the year.

Methodist Hospital

Methodist Hospital at Indiana University Health is a large hospital within the IU Health Academic Health Center.  Methodist contains a large obstetrics and newborn population and a very busy newborn nursery.  With over 5,000 newborn deliveries per year, the members of the pediatric hospital medicine group provide care for a large proportion of the well-newborns in the newborn nursery. 

Methodist Hospital at Indiana University Health is also home to the Pediatric and Adolescent Care Center (PACC), a full service general pediatric clinic operated by Health Net.  Members of the group provide high quality care for pediatric patients at the PACC and serve as clinical educators and supervisors for residents in the pediatric residency program who have the opportunity to gain valuable continuity clinic experience in the clinic.

IU Health North

IU Health North is a 170 bed community hospital with a pediatric ward. The Hospital medicine group cares for all ward pediatric admissions in a 16 bed ward, and works closely with PICU staff and Riley subspecialists to provide care and provide consultation services as needed. IU Health has a pediatric hospitalist on site for 12 hours each day as well as support from the pediatric ICU specialist during the night time.

IU Health West

IU Health West is a 130 bed community hospital which offers a full range of pediatric services. In addition to providing 24 hour coverage, the Hospital medicine group provides attends approximately 150 deliveries a year, as well as further care for normal newborns and in a special care nursery. The Pediatric hospitalist also provides pediatric consultation to the emergency room staff.

A common feature at all of the hospitals in which the group serves is our communication with the referring and primary physicians. Within 24 hours of admission, the primary physician is notified by telephone or fax. We also communicate updates during the patient's stay and at time of discharge for a seamless transition of care.

Accolades, Administration and Advocacy

The Riley Pediatric Hospitalist Program has been honored for their educational and scholarly activities. The group's accomplishments are diverse and numerous, but include accolades such as:

  • The Morris Green teaching award four out of the last five years
  • The Department of Emergency Medicine teaching award
  • The Medicine-Pediatrics Attending of the Year
  • IU Trustee Teaching Award
  • Pediatric Academic Society (PAS) Scholars

In addition, the group is active in scholarship and research, including the following societies:

  • Academy of American Pediatrics
  • Academic Pediatric Association
  • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
  • Alpha Omega Alpha

Finally, Riley Pediatric hospitalists have a reputation for implementing change and pursuing excellence through hospital administration and community outreach. Group founder Dr. Jeffrey Sperring is now the CEO of Riley Hospital for Children, and group physicians are members of many core hospital committees, including the IU Health Professional Standards Committee and quality and safety control at Methodist and Riley hospitals.

Download our Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship brochure.