Mission and Services

 The Critical Care Faculty at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital demonstrate excellence in clinical care, advancement of care through research and a commitment to educating the next generation of physicians who will care for children in a variety of settings.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the UC Davis Children's Hospital cares for approximately 1500 children every year. The Pediatric Cardiac Unit (PCICU) manages about 100 pediatric and neonatal cardiothoracic surgeries yearly. We treat a wide variety of conditions including severe infections, heart and lung failure, severe trauma such as head injury, and renal transplants, and we provide dialysis and fiberoptic bronchoscopy in addition to the following state of the art services:

Pediatric Heart Center

  • Performing complex cardiac corrective surgeries as well as providing non-surgical interventions via cardiac catheterization.

Extra-Corporeal Life Support

     ELSO recognized

  • Lifesaving service provided to adult and pediatric patients used when a patient's heart and/or lungs are so severely diseased or damaged that they can no longer support the life of the patient.

Pediatric Telemedicine

  • High-resolution video and audio system that allows our Pediatric Critical Care faculty to bring our expertise to hospitals in rural areas throughout Northern California via video consultation.

Supportive Therapies and Enhanced Palliative Services

  • Aimed at preventing and relieving suffering while supporting patients and their families achieve the best possible quality of life.

Pediatric Transport Team

  • Dedicated pediatric transport team with access to fixed-wing, helicopter or ambulance services to bring patients from distant locations to our PICU 24-7 with paramount safety
  • Over 600 children transported yearly from rural and distant locations.

Additional commitment to the advancement of medicine via education and research are priorities for the Pediatric Critical Care division. Research among our group focuses on improving health care delivery within the hospital, providing improved healthcare services to rural and underserved children, health outcomes, clinical and translational research. The faculty is also involved in teaching the Pediatric residents, 3rd and 4th year medical students, and fellows and providing lectures for nursing and physician groups throughout Northern California.

Critical Care Team

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is staffed 24 hours a day by fourteen board-certified Pediatric Critical Care specialists. The physicians, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and other specialists in the PICU work as a team to assess, diagnose and treat critically ill children.

Sara Aghamohammadi, M.D. - Dr. Aghamohammadi has a primary commitment to clinical care in the PICU/PCICU. She has been involved in multi-disciplinary collaboratives to standardize care in the PICU, such as implementing protocols related to sedation, delirium, and high flow nasal cannula. She also serves as one of the Department Wellness Champions for Pediatrics and is an advocate for physician wellness.

Blair Colwell, M.D. - Dr. Colwell cares for patients in the PICU and PCICU. Her interests are in early mobilization in the pediatric intensive care unit, medical education and teaching, and working with a multidisciplinary and multi-professional team to provide the best possible care to critically ill children.

Brian Goudy, M.D. - Dr. Goudy has a primary commitment to clinical care in the PICU/PCICU. He is involved in the education of medical students, residents and nursing staff.

Moonjoo Han, M.D. - Dr. Han has a primary commitment to clinical care in the PICU/PCICU. Her scholarly interests include the early recognition and treatment of sepsis.

John Holcroft, M.D. - Dr. Holcroft is Medical Director of Children’s Hospital Transport Team and liaison to Shriners Hospital for Children. He has an interest in medical education for students, residents, nursing and transport staff, in addition to, outreach at area hospitals.

Michelle Lim, M.D. - Dr. Lims research is focused on the study of pathophysiological mechanisms of pediatric multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS). She is currently studying the role of the RAGE-axisin critical illness.

James Marcin, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Marcin is Vice Chair for Clinical Research and Director of the Center for Health and Technology. Dr. Marcin’s research involves improving healthcare through the application of telemedicine.

Stephanie Mateev, M.D. Dr. Mateev is the Medical Director of Pediatric ICU, the Pediatric Cardiac ICU and Extra-Corporeal Life Support Service. 

Theresa Murdock-Vlautin, M.D. – Dr. Murdock-Vlautin is Medical Director of Pediatric STEPS (Supportive Therapies and Enhanced Palliative Services)Program and Director of Clinical Skills and Assessment for the UC Davis School of Medicine. Her interests include the multi-disciplinary care and support of patients and families dealing with chronic/terminal illness and medical education.

JoAnne E. Natale, M.D., Ph.D. - Dr. Natale is Director of Quality and Safety at UC Davis Children's Hospital and Chief of Staff for UC Davis Health. Her research interests focus on quality improvement, and neurodevelopmental outcomes after traumatic brain injury.

Jennifer Plant, M.D., M.Ed. – Dr. Plant is Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Division Chief and Program Director for the Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Fellowship. Her scholarly focus includes medical school curriculum development, the transition to residency, and simulation-based training.

Viyeka Sethi, M.D. – Dr. Sethi is site director of resident PICU rotation and PCICU elective. Dr. Sethi has a primary commitment to clinical care in the PICU/PCICU with an added focus on the topics of point of care ultrasound in critical care, continuous renal replacement therapy and fiberoptic bronchoscopy.

Heather Siefkes, M.D., MSCI - Dr. Siefkes has support from NICHD R21 and UCD CTSC KL2 grants to research early detection of critical congenital heart disease and outcomes related to pediatric critical illnesses. 

Jessica Signoff, M.D. - Dr. Signoff is the Associate Fellowship Program Director, and directs the PICU/PCICU Nurse Practitioner program. She is committed to clinical care, and is dedicated to interdisciplinary and graduate medical education.

Our knowledgeable and experienced staff also includes

  • Pediatric critical care nurses, who have expertise in caring for critically ill children;
  • Pediatric nurse practitioners
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Pediatric pharmacists
  • Pediatric dieticians
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Social workers committed to the support of children and their family members.

Throughout UC Davis Health, we have at our disposal a roster of medical specialists with expertise in general Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Pediatric Pulmonology, and other specialties.


Critical Care Faculty Offices
Phone: 916-734-7840
Fax: 916-456-2235
Patient Referral: 1-800-UCD-4-KIDS (1-800-823-4543),  24 hours a day
Pediatric Intensive Care Transport: 916-734-7405
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: 916-734-2994