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The Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology is an active group of physicians who have all received special training in the anesthetic care of children. We are a diverse group that is united by the common goals of providing care that is:

  • safe
  • state of the art
  • as non-threatening as possible

Pediatric Operating Rooms

The UNC pediatric operating room environment consists of six independent pediatric ORs, a cardiac OR, and a procedure suite where endoscopy, bronchoscopy and other minor procedures are performed. Over 10,000 anesthetics are provided each year covering all major surgical subspecialities including pediatric general surgery, cardiac surgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, urology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, and pediatric dentistry. Under the guidance of the Division Chief, Dr. Sara Pittenger, 12 pediatric subspecialty-trained anesthesiologists provide excellent anesthetic care in conjunction with a caring team of CRNAs and senior level anesthesia residents. Recent renovations in the perioperative area continue to make the UNC Children’s hospital a safe, family-focused area to provide high-quality pediatric anesthesia care.


Pediatric Pain and Regional Anesthesia Service

UNC is home to the first Pediatric Pain and Regional Anesthesia Service in the region. The pain management component of the service was started in July 2009. Specialty-trained members of the pediatric anesthesia division take part in inpatient Pediatric Pain Management service and Pediatric Anesthesia Regional Service under the medical direction of Dr. Karene Ricketts. This important team consults with our pediatric surgical and medical colleagues to care for children with complex acute and chronic pain needs. Perioperative pain management is a crucial element of the pain service and involves postoperative narcotic management, neuraxial and peripheral nerve catheters, and multi-modal pain management strategies. Patients with chronic pain conditions including functional abdominal pain, cancer-related pain, sickle cell disease and IBD, are also cared for during their hospitalization and are provided outlets for continued outpatient pain management.

Pediatric Anesthesiology Nurse Practitioners Ashley King, MSN / Joelle Lane, MSN 

Pediatric Sedation Service

The Pediatric Sedation Service was created in 2010 to improve the safety and efficiency and to provide oversight in pediatric sedation across North Carolina Children’s Hospital. The sedation and consult portion of the service was established as a safety initiative undertaken by the department of anesthesiology. Under the medical direction of Dr. Janey Phelps, the service provides evaluation and management of nurse administered moderate sedation, consultation of pediatric sedation candidates, and monitored anesthetic care for high risk pediatric sedations or patients who fail moderate sedation. The service is staffed by pediatric anesthesiologists, two pediatric nurse practitioners and eleven pediatric specialty care sedation nurses. An average of 45 outpatient and inpatient sedations are carried out weekly ranging from MRIs, CT scans, LPs, EMG studies and PICC line placement.

Fellowship Program

The UNC Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship is in its 14th year, and has been through three successful accreditation visits from the Residency Review Committee. Dr. M. Concetta Lupa is the Program Director, and Dr. Tracy Wester is our Associate Program Director.  All of our fellowship spots are included in the NRMP. The fellowship is an intense clinical exposure to all aspects pediatric anesthesia. The fellows also spend four weeks on our Pain, Sedation and Consult service and four weeks in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Each fellow is encouraged to complete a scholarly project and four days/month of protected non-clinical time is provided for that purpose. Fellows are provided many opportunities for learning, including a dense didactic experience, opportunities for simulation training, and supervision opportunities as they progress throughout their clinical year.

UNC Pediatric Anesthesiology Faculty

Hemanth Baboolal, MD My Liu, MD Concetta Lupa, MD
Charles MacIntyre, MD Derek Nelsen, MD Janey Phelps, MD
Sara Pittenger, MD Karene Ricketts, MD Joseph Sisk, MD
Brian Specht, MD Adam Suchar, MD Annika Webb, MD
Tracy Wester, MD