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Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship

The Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship program at Saint Louis University in partnership with the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital is a three-year experience with two years dedicated to clinical training and one year for scholarly activity.

Our goal is to prepare the fellow to be an excellent clinician, educator and researcher in developmental-behavioral pediatrics.

Learn More about SLU's Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital​

Fellowship Training

First Year

The first year of training is dedicated to the evaluation and initial management of children ages 0-5, as well as exposing the fellow to community resources and therapies.

Second Year

The second year focuses more on continued management of developmental-behavioral disorders with a focus on issues arising in older children, such as Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disorders.

Third Year

The third year expands on the first two years with time reserved to pursue electives of interest to the fellow. Training in developmental assessment is offered. Clinical time is spent at the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center and other subspecialty clinics at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

 Clinical Education

Clinical Experiences

The first year of training is dedicated to evaluation and initial management of children ages 0-5, as well as exposing the fellow to community resources and therapies. The second year focuses more on continued management of developmental-behavioral disorders, with a focus on issues arising in older children, such as ADHD and learning disorders. The third year expands on the first two years, with time set aside to pursue electives of interest to the fellow. Training in developmental assessments, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, is included as part of fellowship.

Continuity Clinic

Each fellow will have a continuity clinic one half day per week. The fellow’s patient panel will consist of patients on whom they completed an initial evaluation in one of the developmental/behavioral or subspecialty clinics. Fellows will see 3-4 patients per clinic. There will be an opportunity to expand the continuity clinic to 2 half days per week, as the fellow’s patient panel grows. The fellow is expected to implement the treatment plan and be the primary provider for each patient, with guidance from the attending physician.

Call Responsibilities

Fellows will begin taking call in the second half of their first year. Typically, this involves evening/weekend phone care coverage, approximately 1 week per month with attending backup. On very rare occasions, fellows on call may need to come into the hospital to evaluate a patient.

 Scholarly Activity/Research

Research Project

Fellows are required to design, implement, complete, and write up a research project of their choosing. In the first year, fellows will identify a research mentor and begin to design the project and obtain IRB approval. Instruction in biostatistics and epidemiology, as well as aspects of study design, will be provided in fellow conferences and workshops throughout training. In the second year, the fellow will be expected to begin implementing their research project, with the third year reserved for study completion, data analysis, and reporting. Fellows are given 1 year, divided over the three years of training, to complete the project, and will have some protected time each week for research activities.

Fellows will have the opportunity to apply for intramural grant funding through the Department of Pediatrics.  Assistance with grant writing for extramural funding is also available.

Didactics
 

Fellow-level didactics occur weekly. Weeks alternate between the Introduction to Academic Medicine (IAM) course, which is combined fellowship lecture series with all other pediatric fellows, and Developmental-Behavioral didactics.  The IAM course introduces the fellow to aspects of professional, academic medicine (ex: professionalism, research writing, job interviewing, etc), and the developmental-behavioral didactic series is an 18 month series that covers all board material. Subsequently, all board material is given twice throughout fellowship. 

Other scheduled lecture experiences include the Department of Pediatrics’ weekly Grand Rounds, and bi-weekly Research Colloquium, and the division of Developmental Pediatrics’ monthly Journal Club and Learning Group. There are many other opportunities available as well.

Training Locations

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital

Our hospital is a free-standing, not-for-profit, pediatric tertiary care center located in the city of St. Louis.  Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is the only Catholic freestanding children’s hospital in the country, and it first opened in 1956 to meet the overwhelming demands for pediatric care in the area, and to serve as a base for pediatric education for Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Cardinal Glennon provides medical care to children from birth to 21 years of age, not only from the St. Louis area, but also much of eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. The children we serve at Cardinal Glennon Children’s medical center are racially, ethnically, socioeconomically, and spiritually diverse. All 195 patient rooms are private. The medical center is designated as a Level 1 Trauma Center and Level 4 NICU, and provides innovative care across numerous medical specialties.

The medical center is home to the Department of Pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The staff includes more than 150 full time pediatric faculty members. The Department’s Mission is “to improve children's health by providing patient care, education and research in a unique shared environment of inquisitive minds, compassion and respect for human dignity.”

We currently have 18 pediatric residents a year (with 2 being Child Neurology) and other fellowships in allergy/immunology, cardiology, critical care, emergency medicine, GI, Heme-Onc, rheumatology, sleep medicine, and neonatology.

The Knights of Columbus Developmental Center

In 1981, the Missouri Knights of Columbus established the first developmental center in the region dedicated to children with special needs. The Knights of Columbus Developmental Center grew from a small staff of three to a team of experts in developmental pediatrics, neurology, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, family resources, and support staff.

The center supports roughly 4,500 patient visits per year. We evaluate children a wide range of disorders, including autism spectrum, ADHD, internalizing/externalizing disorders, language and motor difficulties, and many neurologic and genetic conditions associated with developmental disabilities.

The center is active in developing therapeutic programs. The Move to Communicate group, led by speech therapy and occupational therapy, helps transition children with developmental delays and autism to therapeutic services and preschool programs. The PEERS program is an evidence-based social skills intervention group for adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum and other disorders.

In 2007, the Knights of Columbus was designated as a Missouri Center for Autism by the Department of Mental Health. Our efforts have contributed to the statewide development of best practices for screening and treatment guidelines for autism spectrum disorders. In 2018, grant funding from the state of Illinois was also added to increase services to the underserved of Illinois. The center also has a long-standing partnership with the Early Intervention Program in Illinois to performing medical diagnostic evaluations for infants and toddlers with developmental delays in the southern third of the state.

Faculty and staff are involved in many research projects and are very active in educating trainees across a variety of disciplines, including medicine (pediatrics, psychiatry, and neurology), speech-language pathology, social work, and nursing.

In May 2013, we moved into our new building at 3800 Park Avenue, right next to SSM Cardinal Glennon's main hospital. This beautiful space is a safe haven for the patients and families we serve.

Faculty and Staff

Knights of Columbus Center Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Clinical Staff
  • Jennifer Heithaus, M.D.
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Director of Developmental Pediatrics Fellowship Program
  • Shulamit Portnoy, M.D.
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Interim Division Director
    Child Neurology
  • Jessica Luitjohan, Ph.D.
    Child Psychology
  • Erin Mallory, M.S., D.T.
    Developmental Therapist
  • Emily Korte-Stroff, OTR/L
    Occupational Therapy
  • Emily Price, MSW
    Clinical Social Work/Family Resource Specialist
  • Maggi Fitzgerald, RN, BSN
    Clinical Nurse
  • DePorres Cormier, M.D.
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Developmental Pediatrician
  • Cristiana Teodorescu, M.D.
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Child/Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Lynn Bock, CCC-SLP
    Speech-Language Pathology
  • Beth Mee, CCC-SLP
    Speech-Language Pathology
  • Karen Hizer, M.Ed.
    Parent Educator/Family Resource Specialist
  • Betty Miller, RN, BSN
    Clinical Nurse
Administrative Staff
  • Cathey Kinnon
  • Paula Paul
  • Alicia Hickman
Key Department of Pediatrics Faculty
 Administration
  • Jeffery Teckman, M.D.
    Professor and Interim Chairman
Education
  • Robert Brooker, M.D.
    Pediatrics Residency Program Director
  • Marya Strand, M.D.
    Pediatric Fellowship Education
    Director
  • Teresa Hudson
    Pediatrics Residency Program
    Coordinator
  • Kavitha Krishnarao
    Pediatric Fellowship Education
    Coordinator 

Benefits

The fellowship program offers an excellent benefit package (see attached). Of note, the GME office supplies substantial CME funding to fund books, training, supplies, professional dues, and travel allowances for conferences. We will help guide you in the best opportunities for this funding, including ADOS training and SDBP (Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics) annual meeting funding. 

Please refer to the Graduate Medical Education Website for additional information on salary and benefits:  https://www.slu.edu/medicine/medical-education/graduate-medical-education/gme-benefits.php

Application

Our program participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and The Match, National Resident Matching Program. One fellow is accepted every three years. Please do not hesitate to contact us at the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center with any questions at 314-577-5609.