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Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship Program

Nehal Thakkar, MD, MBA
Program Director

Nehal Thakkar, M.D., M.B.A., grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Music. She attended Union Graduate College, graduating in 2010 with a Master of Business Administration in Health Care Administration, and Albany Medical College in Albany, New York, graduating in 2014 with her Medical Doctorate. She completed her internship and residency training at Children’s Hospital of Richmond/Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

She went on to pursue and complete a fellowship in Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center/University of Texas in Austin, Texas. During her training, she focused on medical education and improved communication in health care, developing curricula and publishing on teaching scripts for bedside rounds, a commonly utilized resource on the SOHM library.

Following fellowship, she joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2019, and in 2020, she began serving as the Associate Program Director for the PHM Fellowship Program. In 2023 she was selected as Program Director. She directs fellowship education as well as fellow and faculty development on medical education.  She has a commitment towards mentorship of residents interested in PHM as well as fellow and resident scholarly work and continues to pursue opportunities in medical student and resident education and Phoenix Children’s PHM Division QI initiatives. She holds the academic appointments of Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Creighton University School of Medicine and University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. In addition, she is currently Chair of the Curriculum Subcommittee of the national PHM Fellowship Program Directors Committee.

Current projects include the creation of a peer mentorship program within the PHM division at PCH, national board preparation curriculum development for PHM programs, and social determinants of health assessment of the greater PCH patient and family population, to name a few.

Sandra Gage, MD
Associate Program Director

Sandra Gage, PhD, SFHM, FAAP was born in Valparaiso, Indiana and grew up in small towns throughout that state. She attended Purdue University where she received a B.S. in Physical Therapy. She then obtained her medical degree and a doctorate in Medical Neurobiology from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Following completion of training, she joined the faculty of the affiliated Medical College of Wisconsin, where she advanced to the position of Associate Professor of Pediatrics. In conjunction with the general pediatric division, she developed the Pediatric Hospital Medicine (PHM) program, where she remained in a leadership role for over 25 years.

Dr. Gage was appointed as the Associate Division Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Phoenix Children's Hospital in 2018. This role allowed her to contribute her knowledge and skills to the development and advancement of the hospital's PHM program. She also served as the Associate Program Director (APD) for the PHM Fellowship from 2018-2020. In July of 2020, she stepped down as Associate Division Chief and Fellowship APD and assumed the position of Director of Faculty Development for Pediatric Hospital Medicine, further highlighting her commitment to enhancing the professional growth and education of her colleagues. In 2023, she resumed her role as APD for the PHM Fellowship Program.

Dr. Gage has served and continues to serve on a number of local and national committees throughout her career. Most notably, she is a past member and Chair of the Joint Council of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, as well as the Consortium of Pediatric Hospital Medicine. Both groups were instrumental in attaining sub-specialty status for the field. Additionally, she chaired the Pediatric Committee of the Society of Hospital Medicine. Her national accomplishments also include Editorship of the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Core Competencies, a publication which helps to define the scope and practice parameters of the field. 

Dr. Gage is actively engaged in research and scholarly activities, consistently publishing peer-reviewed articles, and actively participating in grant-funded projects. Her research endeavors focus on various aspects of pediatric hospital medicine, aiming to improve patient outcomes and enhance the quality of care provided to children. Research interests include transitions of care, quality improvement in various aspects of hospital care, migraine therapy in the hospital setting, the use of procalcitonin as a marker in children, and faculty development through peer observation and mentorship.

Dr. Gage's dedication to mentorship is evident through her role as the founder and co-chair of the PHM Mentorship Program. This initiative provides one-on-one mentorship for faculty in the division and underscores her commitment to fostering a supportive environment for faculty and trainees, ensuring they have access to valuable mentorship throughout their careers. This program is currently being studied and disseminated as a model for program development throughout the field. In addition, she founded and chairs the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Medical Education Special Interest Group at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Lisa Fox, MD 
Division Chief, Hospitalist Division

A Phoenix native, Lisa Fox, DO graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Science in General Biology. She went to medical school at Midwestern University—Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, Arizona and completed her internship and residency at Phoenix Children’s Hospital/Maricopa Medical Center. She helped develop the Nighttime Curriculum for Phoenix Children’s residents in 2012 and is involved in the development of multiple clinical pathways. She also sits on the Young Physicians Committee of the Arizona chapter of the AAP.

Phoenix Children's Faculty

Brandon Abbott, DO
Heather Antoine, DO
Wendy Arafiles, MD
Ashka Atodaria, DO
Vasudha Bhavaraju, MD
Yash Bhatt, MD (MGH)
Kristi Boles, MD
Hannah Challa, PNP
Bo Borch-Christensen, MD
Stephanie Conrad, DO
Pooja Dadgar, MD
Alissa Darden, MD
Nima Desai, MD
Cindy Duke, MD
Katie Dyer, DO
Richard Engel, MD
Kelcie Fincham, MD
Ellen Fitzpatrick, MD
Sam Flores, MD
Anna Gary, MD
Casey Golab, MD
Meg Groom, MD
Kelly Guido, MD
Jennifer Hall, MD
Tiana Hallberg, MD
John Hartley, DO
Prabodh Hemmady, MD
Ashley Higashi, MD
Ariel Hofman, MD
Courtney Howell, PNP
Maheshwor Kafle, MD
Shannon Kearl, MD
Kelly Kelleher, MD
Jennifer Kovacik, MD
Anna Kushnir, MD
Joseph Mangone, DO
Iris Marku, PNP
Jorge Masuello, MD
Drew McBride, MD
Kayce Morton, DO
Neeru Narla, MD
Reina Patel, DO
Jennifer Quinlan, DO
Tim Raghib, MD
Dustin Rayhorn, MD
Amanda Reynolds, MD
Katrina Rousher, PNP
Noreen Ruane, DO
Michele Scott, MD
Amanda Scott, MD
Romy Shane, MD
Meera Singavi, MD (MGH)
Sarjita Shukla, MD
Danielle Smith, MD
David Solomon, MD
Nina Souders, MD
John Stamm, MD
Jen Stevens, MD
Raegan Vanderput, MD
Jillian Wall, MD
Danelle Wilson, MD
Brittany Wold, MD

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