Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine

777 Bannock Street, MC #0108

Denver, Colorado 80204

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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 200 medics running over 100,000 calls and transporting over 80,000 patients per year.  We have a very comprehensive division that includes ambulance operations, 911 dispatch/communications, EMS education (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, QA meetings, and dedicated didactic time.  Over the course of the year, the core competencies for EMS 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.  During 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 develops the skills to function as a paramedic in the field and hones specific technical and scene management competencies.   Through this experience, the fellow gains a complete understanding of the complexities of field medicine and a working understanding of the system.  The fellow subsequently participates in command shift rides and 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 share their wealth of experience (Katrina, World Youth Day etc).  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 and medical direction of a flight program. 


Fellows work clinically in the emergency department at Denver Health to maintain their skills in emergency medicine and will have some ability to pick up moonlighting shifts.   


Other activities include participation in local and state level EMS medical direction meetings, NAEMSP medical directors course, the Gathering of Eagles, research and education of medics, students and residents. In addition, there are a wide range of opportunities to collaboration with other emergency medicine faculty. 


For the academic year 2018-19 we are transitioning with the other EMS fellowships in the country to the National Residency Match Program and applications for fellowship will go through ERAS. 


We take two fellows per year.  Please contact Crystal Spiri, the fellowship coordinator for more information or with any questions. 


We are also actively looking for qualified applicants for the following combination fellowships:  

  • Pediatric/EMS

  • EMS/Research


Please inquire about these specifically if you are interested. 

Contact Us:

Crystal Spiri

Fellowship Coordinator


Fellowship Faculty

Aaron Eberhardt, MD

Fellowship Director

Denver Health Fellowship in EMS and Disaster Medicine

Denver Health Medical Center



Kevin McVaney, MD

Medical Director

Denver Health Paramedic Division

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 Sovndal MD, FACEP

Director of Trauma Outreach Special Operations

Denver Health Medical Center

Medical Director North Colorado Med Evac

North Colorado Medical Center

Aaron Eberhardt, MD

Staff Physician, Denver Health Medical Center

Associate Medical Director, Denver Health Paramedic Division

Fellowship Director, EMS Fellowship