Welcome from the Chief
Welcome to the Section of Critical Care Medicine. Thank you for visiting out website today. The section has a rich history since the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit first opened at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in 1981.
As an Arkansas native and the second graduate of our fellowship program, I have had the privilege of serving as section chief since 2003. Our team has grown substantially and consists of 15 faculty, seven fellows, and five advanced practice professionals. Our faculty are institutional and national leaders in multiples areas that are driving improved care for the most critically ill and injured children in an environment committed to family-centered care.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital is one of the US 20 largest pediatric medical centers and for over 100 years, was the state’s only children’s hospital. We recently became a hospital system by opening a smaller children’s hospital in northwest Arkansas, Arkansas Children Northwest. We provide all critical care services on the Little Rock campus with support to the northwest campus through our busy Angel One transport team. Our PICU faculty provide medical control for pediatric transports for the transport team. Our 26 bed Donald W. Reynold Pediatric Intensive Care Unit provides the highest level of pediatric critical care services. The unit has provided ECMO services for over 30 years and has been a national leader in mobile ECMO services. An adjacent intermediate care unit provides additional overflow space in times of very high census. Cardiac critical care is provided in a separate 30 bed combined critical care and stepdown unit. The group also operates the ACH Sedation Team which provides sedation to children outside the operating room for painful procedures and selected imaging. We are designated by the Society for Pediatric Sedation as one of 11 Centers of Excellence in Pediatric Sedation.
Clinical research is rapidly expanding with full time research coordinators and growing extramural funding in the section. The PICU faculty are active participants in the Pediatric Acute Lung Disease and Sepsis Investigators and the National Emergency Airway Registry for Children (NEAR4KIDS) networks. The PICU is an ancillary site for the National Institute of Health’s Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network and actively participates in clinical trials sponsored by this premier national network. The team is actively engaged in novel investigations in long Covid syndrome in children, immunomodulation in sepsis and multiorgan dysfunction, and ventilation strategies in severe respiratory failure. Faculty are also participating in NIH funded multi-center clinical studies in anticoagulation and ECMO outcomes.
Education has been a longtime priority for the section with faculty winning department and university level education awards. Residents are an integral part of the PICU team and residents from pediatrics, medicine-pediatrics, pediatric neurology, and emergency medicine rotate throughout the PICU. The pediatric critical care fellowship program has been training intensivists since 1990 and has graduates practicing throughout the US. Areas of education focus include high fidelity simulation, improving resident education and resuscitation education.
Service and Leadership
Our faculty are not just excellent clinicians, investigators, and educators, but also serve as leaders in the Department of Pediatrics and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. They have a long history of leadership at the national level in professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Society of Critical Care Medicine, and American Heart Association.
But most of all, they are kind, caring individuals who are passionate about delivering state of the art care for children. We strive for those values to come through while training the next generation of health care professionals and searching for better ways to deliver that care. I am very proud of this very dedicated group of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Thank you for taking the time for learn more about our team.
Steve Schexnayder, M.D.
Section Chief of Critical Care Medicine
Oakley Chair in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine