Message from the Chair
Since its founding in 1950 by R. James McKay, MD who served as chair for 33 years, the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine has had a record of achievement anchored to its mission, vision, and focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The mission of our department (now a network department incorporating all partner hospitals in the UVM Health Network) and our University of Vermont Children's Hospital is to improve the health of all children we serve through clinical, research, educational, and advocacy activities that make an equitable and inclusive difference for those living in our community and in turn can be shared with others throughout the country and the world. The vision of our Department and Children’s Hospital is to create a “children’s hospital/dept without walls” that utilizes the diverse and inclusive talents of everyone in Vermont and upstate New York who shares an interest in improving children’s health and wellbeing.
We recognize that we are enriched as a community and better able to serve children and families when we include voices from all perspectives. We value a compassionate and collaborative work environment that promotes diversity, inclusiveness, cultural humility, kindness, and respect for our faculty, staff, and trainees. We are committed to advocacy initiatives that allow children and their families to thrive in safe environments free from bias and discrimination. We do this by reducing barriers to health equity for all children and families.
Faculty in our department focus their efforts in the following areas: (1) striving to be a national or international leader in their field; (2) making sure they contribute to the communities in which they live; (3) always making high quality care delivery to children and families a priority; (4) ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just spoken but are attributes that we actively practice in all that we do; (5) building a culture of wellness for our patients and for ourselves; and (6) sustaining the gains so that our successors continue to foster the innovative growth and development of our department and children’s hospital. As you explore our website, what I have described will become self-evident in the clinical and academic domains contained within this site. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for continued growth and innovation, which is how our department has evolved to date and will continue to do so as we strive to ensure an equitable and bright future for all the children we serve.
Lewis R. First, M.D.
Professor and Chair
Location & Facilities
Located in Burlington, The University of Vermont Medical center serves as Vermont’s academic medical center. In the UVM Medical Center resides The University of Vermont Children's Hospital with both inpatient and outpatient facilities. Learn more about living in Burlington.
The Department's history began with Dr. R. James McKay, who was the first official full-time pediatric faculty member recruited to UVM in 1950. Dr. McKay was Chairman of the Department for 33 years and was a former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Carol Lee Phillips, a national leader in pediatric infectious disease, then served as Chair for 10 years, turning it over to Dr. Lewis First in 1994 with her retirement. Dr. Jerold Lucey joined the Department shortly after Dr. McKay's arrival and under his leadership established our neonatal division. Dr. Lucey's research in Neonatology has led to such innovations as phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia and the first surfactant trials for premature infants. Dr. Lucey served as founder and president of the Vermont Oxford Neonatal Network (which has a membership of more than 950 neonatal intensive care units around the world), focused on clinical outcomes studies on high risk newborn infants. Dr. Lucey also served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Pediatrics — a role he held for more than 35 years before Dr. First became the editor in 2009. Dr. McKay passed away in 2012, Dr. Phillips in 2018, and Dr. Lucey in 2017. Their legacy is carried on by the more than 80 faculty along with hundreds of staff and trainees who continue to advance the department’s clinical and academic missions.
Photo at left (L to R): Dr. Lewis First, Dr. Carol Lee Phillips, Dr. R. James McKay