The Denver Health fellowship in EMS and Disaster is a one year ACGME accredited fellowship affiliated with Denver Health Medical Center and the Denver Health Paramedic Division (DHPD).  DHPD is a hospital based third service system that provides 911 medical response for the city and county of Denver, Colorado.  Our system is one of the busiest in the country with 150 medics running over 80,000 calls per year and transporting over 60,000 patients per year.  We have a very comprehensive division that includes ambulance operations, a 911 dispatch/communications center, an EMS education department (including a paramedic and EMT school, fire and law enforcement education), and critical care transport.  Functioning as part of the medical direction team, fellows have the opportunity to be actively involved in medical direction, specialized pediatric EMS oversight, field medicine, flight medicine, special events and disaster/mass gathering planning. 

The foundation of our fellowship revolves around “Tuesday Meetings”.  Tuesdays include:  meeting with the paramedic command staff to discuss operations and trouble shoot weekly issues, meeting as a medical direction team to discuss ongoing projects and upcoming events, and dedicated didactic time.  Over the course of the year, the core competencies for EMS as identified by the ACGME are covered to ensure the fellows are prepared for their future in EMS as well as to lay the groundwork to successfully complete the EMS board exam.  

Our approach to understanding field medicine is one of the most unique components of the fellowship.  Over the course of the first few months, the fellow will participate in the paramedic field training program.   This program is the same process that the medics new to DHPD complete.  Over a series of rides, the fellow will have an opportunity to function as a paramedic in the field to develop specific technical and scene management competencies.   This experience allows the fellow to gain a complete understanding of the complexities of field medicine and a working understanding of the system as a whole.  From that foundation, the fellow starts participating in command shift rides and has the opportunity to participate in other prehospital training courses (bike medic training, tactical training etc). 

Doctors Peter Pons and Stephen Cantrill teach monthly on mass gatherings, disaster medicine, and disaster standards of care.  They teach curriculum they have developed (BNICE) as well as sharing their wealth of experience (Katrina, World Youth Day etc) that outlines the development and execution of plans for mass gatherings and disasters.   In addition, there is ample opportunity to participate in special events with the paramedic division covering Broncos games, local festivals, concerts and dignitary visits. 

In conjunction with Northern Colorado Med-Evac and their medical director, Shannon Sovndal, one month of the fellowship is spent with a special focus on flight medicine.  This month includes shifts with the flight team as well as time with Dr. Sovndal learning about flight medicine, medical direction of a flight program and highlights the unique abilities and challenges inherent to flights programs. 

Opportunities to work in a local emergency department as well as the opportunity to moonlight are a part of the fellowship in order for the fellow to maintain his or her clinical skills as well as interface with the paramedic division in the hospital. 

Other activities include participation in local and state level EMS medical direction meetings, NAEMSP medical directors course, opportunity to develop or join with ongoing research projects, providing continuing education for the paramedic division and providing resident education.  

We take two fellows per year.  Please contact the fellowship director Aaron Eberhardt for more information.  To apply please submit:     

  •  a letter of intent
  • copy of your curriculum
  •  2 letters of recommendation 

We are also actively looking for qualified applicants for the following combination fellowships: Pediatric/EMS or are interested in a combination EMS/Research.  Please inquire about these specifically if you are interested. 

Fellowship Core Faculty

Aaron Eberhardt, MD
Fellowship Director
Denver Health Fellowship in EMS and Disaster Medicine
Denver Health Medical Center
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Kevin McVaney, MD
Medical Director
Denver Health Paramedic Division
Denver Health Medical Center

Christopher Colwell, MD
Director, Emergency Medical Services
Denver Health Medical Center

Lara Rappaport, MD
Associate Medical Director- Pediatrics
Denver Health Paramedic Division

Whitney Barrett, MD
Associate Medical Director
Denver Health Paramedic Division

Adjunct Faculty

Peter T. Pons, M.D.
Denver Health Medical Center
Professor Emeritus
University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine
Associate Medical Director
Prehospital Trauma Life Support
National Association of EMTs

Stephen V. Cantrill, MD, FACEP
Department of Emergency Medicine
Denver Health Medical Center
Member, Colorado Governor’s Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee
Chair, American College of Emergency Physicians Ebola Expert Panel
Principal Investigator and Director, Colorado Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical and Explosive Program, 2003-2009

Shannon Sovenndal MD, FACEP
Director of Trauma Outreach Special Operations
Denver Health Medical Center
Medical Director North Colorado Med Evac
North Colorado Medical Center