Meet Dr. Dave Stocker, Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Sky Ridge

Having been born and raised in Colorado, I have very strong ties to the area.  Besides my parents, I have a brother who is two years older Dr. David Stocker_WebV2and is a physician in the Army, and a sister who is 9 years younger and does brand management for large companies.  While I moved with my family to Washington, DC just before high school, I subsequently returned to Colorado for college in Boulder and then went on to medical school and business school in Denver.  For internship and residency, I went back to Washington, DC for my Pediatrics residency at Georgetown University.  For Pediatric Emergency Fellowship training, I spent three years at Columbus Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, the second largest pediatric emergency department in the country. 

I came back to Denver after training and started working at Sky Ridge Medical Center and Swedish Medical Center.  I was in Denver for six years at that time and became the Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at The Medical Center of Aurora, followed by the Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Swedish Medical Center.

I then left Colorado to become the Director of the Emergency Department at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas.  During that time, we were able to increase our visits to approximately 50,000 patients per year with steady growth of 10-15% annually.  We also had two quarters in which we were number one in HCA for patient satisfaction in the Emergency Department.  However, I was very excited to return to Colorado for the opportunity to build a new, Pediatric Emergency Department at Sky Ridge, work with this great community, and settle down for the long term in the state.  I have an amazing 5-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is growing up to be quite an incredible little girl.  Besides dressing like a princess, she is also becoming an excellent horse rider and nature explorer!

Share with us your goals and vision for the new Pediatric Emergency Department at Sky Ridge, scheduled to open on February 15, 2016.

From my perspective, it all starts with quality.  We need to provide the best care for children in everything we do.  That ranges from bringing in the best physicians and nurses from around the country and following the most up-to- date treatment guidelines to having the right equipment for any situation and offering a department exclusively for kids that is inviting and decreases stress.  By assembling a high quality and cohesive staff, we will have a strong team that will effectively and efficiently manage any situation from the most day-to-day tasks to the most critical patient encounters.

How will this Pediatric Emergency Department be different?

Coming to the Emergency Department can be a scary proposition for kids (and adults too).   We want to decrease that stress as much as possible by having a bright and inviting department with friendly and professional staff who love working with children.  

We will bring kids into rooms quickly, talk with them on their level, and make the visit as painless as it can be.  By reassuring both the children and the parents, our treatments will be more effective and patients will return to health more quickly.  Further, for situations where specialists are needed, we will work with our Pediatric subspecialists whose only role is to provide care for kids.  This includes specialties like Pediatric Surgery, Orthopedics, Urology and Gastroenterology as well as Pediatric Radiology and Anesthesia, Child Life specialists and other professionals who provide expert care for children.  The Pediatric Emergency Department is not just doctors and nurses, it will be a coordinated, high quality, multi-disciplinary team that provides the best care for children across the region.