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Chair's Message

Cynthia Gibson, MD, MHA A message from Cynthia Gibson, MD, MHA
Chair, Department of Pediatrics


Inova Children's Hospital is a 226-bed, state-of-the-art children’s hospital, located on the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, VA. Inova Children’s Hospital is the region’s tertiary and quaternary care center, providing the highest level of care for infants to young adults, upholding the Inova values of Patient Always, Our People, One Team, Integrity and Excellence.

It is an honor and a privilege to follow in the footsteps of the visionary work of Mohsen Ziai, MD, and the further program development and leadership of Michael Altieri, MD, and David Ascher, MD. We continue to expand not only our pediatric facility, but also our services. Our Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is one of the nation’s largest at 108 beds, supporting over 10,000 annual births and a busy maternal-fetal medicine program. The NICU is developing a specialized small-baby unit and is regularly ranked highly for care of these most fragile patients.

The 26-bed PICU cares for a variety of critically ill children including postsurgical patients, oncology patients and those who require ECMO. Our PICU supports the only Level I trauma center in Northern Virginia. There is a dedicated cardiac ICU for our growing pediatric heart center patients, providing superb care in pediatric and adult congenital heart disease and surgery.

The general pediatric units care for a diverse population of patients with simple as well as complex diagnoses and are led by board-certified pediatric hospital medicine physicians supporting the academic and patient care goals of the organization. Inova Children’s Hospital is also home to a highly sought-after pediatric emergency medicine fellowship.

The 39 pediatric residents have exposure to a complete range of pediatric specialties, diagnoses and advanced treatments, as well as an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient population, with 75,000 children receiving care through our inpatient and hospital-based ancillary services annually. Our residents are actively involved with a variety of clinical research endeavors across multiple specialties and quality improvement projects under the direction of faculty advisors and Inova’s Office of Research. Their research and quality projects are routinely accepted for presentations at the PAS, ESPR, PHM and AAP annual conferences.

Our residents are actively involved in the program’s development as well as committees addressing residency wellness, advocacy and community collaboration, social media and outreach, and diversity and inclusion. Being located just outside of our nation’s capital, there are multiple opportunities for advocacy at the national level in addition to local political advocacy. Inova Children’s Hospital also has resident representation in the local AAP Chapter.

Our residency program has helped Inova Children’s Hospital achieve excellent quality and safety scores and patient experience scores rating in the 90th percentile nationally. Inova Children’s Hospital participates in varies programs to track and benchmark quality data, including Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety, Vermont Oxford Network, Children’s Hospital Association, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and American College of Surgeons Children’s Surgery Verification Program. The residents have opportunities to participate in these quality and safety endeavors.

In addition to serving as the Northern Virginia campus of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Inova Children’s Hospital has strategic clinical, educational and research partnerships with Children’s National Medical Center, Georgetown University Medical School, Inova Fairfax Family Medicine Residency, National Capital Consortium Residencies and Shenandoah Valley Family Medicine Residency in conjunction with Winchester Medical Center and Valley Health System.

Each year, some graduating residents are selected for highly ranked fellowship programs in the field of their choice. Others decide to stay in the region and work in pediatric primary care. Our vision of the future continues to be exciting and dynamic. As a nonprofit healthcare system, Inova reinvests all of its income and contributions into programs, staff, services and technology to improve the health of the diverse community it serves and to meet its commitment to excellence in patient care, education and research.

Inova Children's Hospital is committed to training innovative and compassionate pediatricians by providing an exceptional foundation in general pediatrics and maximizing each resident’s individual potential. As a graduate of this program, I am honored to serve the residency program and am always amazed by the caliber of the pediatricians we train and the successful careers they go on to enjoy. We welcome your interest in Inova Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Residency Program and urge you to explore our website for more information.