Pediatric Care Close to Home

Max Coppes

Learn more about Renown Children’s Hospital and our efforts to keep pediatric care close to home.  

By Dr. Max J. Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA, physician-in-chief, Renown Children’s Hospital; chair and Nell J. Redfield Professor of Pediatrics, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

For several decades, our community has been blessed with many physicians willing to take
care of our children — countless family physicians; multiple general pediatricians; several adult specialists who by virtue of their training felt comfortable managing more complex child disorders.

But until recently, only a few pediatric specialists in the area were specifically trained to manage complex childhood diseases. Given the shortage of pediatric subspecialists, many children with complex or serious medical conditions have had to travel — usually “over the hill”  to California — to get the medical expertise required to manage their condition.


In 2016, Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine recognized that the community is big enough for a full-fledged children’s hospital and decided on a close collaboration for child health that could meet all our needs except for so-called quaternary care conditions, like bone marrow or organ transplantation, pediatric heart surgery or complex surgery. The Nell J. Redfield Foundation provided funds for the chair of pediatrics and for education and research needs. Subsequently, through a transformational donation, the Pennington Foundation allowed Renown Children’s Hospital and Renown Department of Pediatrics to recruit the many pediatric specialists needed to treat most children with complex pediatric disorders.

Since the summer of 2016, Renown Children’s Hospital has hired 20 pediatricians, including two pediatric hematologist/oncologists (doctors for childhood cancer and childhood blood disorders), one adolescent medicine specialist, a pediatric emergency medicine physician, a second pediatric pulmonologist, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and four new pediatric critical care physicians. Pediatric critical care doctors now staff a 24/7 pediatric intensive care unit, with pediatric intensive care specialists staying overnight in the hospital.

In addition, we have onboarded five general pediatricians. Joining in the spring and summer of 2018 will be two more pediatric emergency medicine physicians, an additional neonatologist and a pediatric kidney specialist.

As we celebrate our achievements, we remain committed to continue recruiting pediatric specialists to further expand the services in our community. We are particularly looking for a second pediatric endocrinologist, a second pediatric surgeon, a second pediatric gastroenterologist, a pediatric rheumatologist, a developmental specialist and a geneticist.

Renown Children’s Hospital is always ready to provide exceptional care for your child and when a specific care is not available in town, to connect you with a suitable pediatric specialist with whom we maintain personal communication. The latter usually allows quick transfer back to Reno. Our goal is to provide as much care as possible close to home.

This article also appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of The Galena Times.