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Faculty and Fellows

Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship

The Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship Program is directed by highly experienced specialists. Our faculty provides hands-on instruction to help fellows gain comprehensive clinical knowledge.

Program Director

Jacqueline M. Walker, MD, MHPE, FAAP
Pediatric Hospitalist; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

Associate Program Director

Michael G. Platt, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine


Program Coordinator

Toni Zaner, BA

Program Liaison

Leesa Brown


Kristyn Jeffries, PGY4 Fellow
I am currently a 1st year PHM Fellow at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. I grew up in a small town in southern Indiana, and I am a proud alum of the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine. After completing my pediatrics residency training at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama, I am so excited to return to the Midwest to begin my fellowship at Children’s Mercy. During my interview, I was extremely impressed with the wide breadth of academic interests and enthusiasm within the hospital medicine division at CMH as well as the fellowship’s emphasis on preparing trainees for a successful career in academic hospital medicine. Having been actively involved in injury prevention research and advocacy during my residency, I plan to continue this work during my fellowship in addition to obtaining my Masters in Public Health. I hope to further explore my interest in the impact of social determinants on children’s health including the policies, both locally and nationally, that influence these health factors. One of my favorite aspects of the fellowship program is the support and mentorship I have already experienced for my research interests in the short time I have been at CMH.

Claire Seguin, PGY4 Fellow
Hi! I’m Claire, a first year PHM fellow at CMH. I am originally from Columbus, OH (Go Bucks!). Following undergrad and graduate work on the East Coast at Providence and BU, I reversed course to Cincinnati for medical school. I completed pediatrics residency here at Children’s Mercy. I have benefitted from the incredible teaching and mentorship of the CMH hospitalist group during residency here and stayed for fellowship because of the strong support for my academic interests including research, quality improvement, and advocacy. I am interested in Implementation Science, which is the multidisciplinary study of interventions, policies, and other methods to improve the uptake of evidence-based findings and practices to improve effectiveness and quality of health care. Ultimately, I want to affect larger improvements on a systems, community, and national level. The PHM program at CMH allows me the flexibility to pursue this interest in larger settings and supports further study of the emerging field through graduate education.

David Synhorst, PGY5 Fellow
I am the current 2nd year PHM fellow here at CMH. I am originally from Nebraska and went to medical school at UNMC in Omaha. I did my pediatrics residency training in Grand Rapids, MI at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. I loved Michigan but, while interviewing for PHM fellowship, Mercy drew my eye. The supportive faculty, the robust research and QI opportunities, and the chance to hone my clinical skills at one of the best children's hospitals in the country were huge for me. Not only does Mercy provide a fantastic PHM fellow experience, the hospital is also helping me to get a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Hospital Administration. My research here has been focused on appropriate utilization of resources, and I was lucky enough to have my projects selected for a platform at PAS and a poster at PHM. The division here is amazing, and finding mentorship for my projects and career has been easy! When I am not working, I am spending time with my amazing wife Abby and our two kids, Joey (4) and Daniel (2). We frequent the KC Zoo and local parks and love to try out new restaurants. KC is a beautiful city with so much to offer!

Joy Solano, PGY6 Fellow
I am currently the 3rd year pediatric hospital medicine fellow at Children's Mercy Kansas City. I completed medical school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and pediatrics residency here at Children's Mercy. I am currently enrolled in the Master of Health Professions Education program, and the ability to complete a Master's is my favorite part of fellowship. My scholarly interests are in patient/family-centered care (with a health literacy focus), inpatient general pediatrics education (specifically how we balance patient-centeredness, health literacy needs, and graduate medical education), and palliative care. I am actively involved in Children's Mercy's health literacy committee and just gave a workshop at APPD on health literacy in the verbal exchange. I am active in the PHM Educational Research Group and am leading a project looking at publication rates of abstracts submitted to the annual PHM conference. Additionally, I am leading a multi-institutional collaborative work group to write a new 12 tips paper focused on medical student engagement on rounds. Finally, with mentorship from the Children's Mercy's medical director of palliative care, I have been working on a research project focused on the circumstances at end of life in pediatric patients, a single institution study looking at the influence of a palliative care team on location of death and whether documentation of a location of death discussion occurred.

Kate Kyler, Recent Fellowship Graduate
I graduated from the Children’s Mercy PHM Fellowship in June 2019. I was born, raised, and educated in Nebraska (Go Big Red!). I completed my pediatrics residency training at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL. I knew I wanted a career in academic hospital medicine, so I pursued PHM fellowship following residency. I was thrilled to match at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, a large, free-standing children’s hospital with a big hospital medicine group full of wonderful people with diverse academic and clinical interests. My primary focus in fellowship was gaining research experience, and I was able to complete work in my areas of interest: obesity in hospitalized children and health services research. I built my ability to conduct independent research by earning a Master of Bioinformatics degree with an emphasis in Clinical Research; I completed the masters program in May before the end of my fellowship. My favorite things about the program were 1) the enthusiastic support and mentorship lent to fellows from essentially every faculty member, and general culture of congeniality between faculty in the division and 2) the amount of scholarly work and learning I was able to achieve during the last 3 years (publications, presentations, and grant applications). Following graduation, I was thrilled to remain in the PHM Division as faculty.

Faculty and staff

Meet the team from the Division of Hospital Medicine.