The role of a pediatric hospitalist: Caring for kids at Mount Nittany Medical Center

May 07, 2021
Kids health
4 min read


Nathaniel Townsand, MD


People often ask exactly what I do in my role as a pediatric hospitalist.  

The role, or definition of a hospitalist, is a physician whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Hospitalists are specially trained in caring for patients who need inpatient care, and focus on each patient to make sure they receive proper tests and procedures, and will follow up throughout the day with their treatment plan. At Mount Nittany Medical Center, it’s our goal to get patients well and back home as smoothly and quickly as possible.

As soon as a patient is admitted to Mount Nittany Medical Center, their hospitalist will spend time with them to go over health records to gain as much information as possible to determine the best care for that individual. Then, at discharge, the hospitalist will send inpatient information to the patient’s primary care physician for their records.

That role is further specialized when caring for pediatric patients. There has been an unprecedented growth of knowledge and treatment advances in modern medicine, and pediatric hospitalists are committed to these specific knowledge areas as it concerns the hospitalized patient. A pediatric hospitalist deals with diseases and conditions that specifically affect children. Contrary to popular belief, children aren't "just small adults," but have unique diseases and ailments that call for more tailored training and treatment. 

The Mount Nittany Physician Group pediatric hospitalist program is a team of five physicians who specialize in pediatric hospital medicine. This includes a wide spectrum of pediatric patients from healthy newborns to sick adolescents. We attend newborn deliveries, as well as, take consults from the emergency department and other various healthcare locations in the community.

There isn't a more frightful situation for a family than being told their son or daughter has to be admitted to a hospital. The goal of our pediatric hospitalist program is to deliver the highest quality of care, while also creating a welcoming environment, alleviating the family’s stress as much as possible.

The creation of this program is a perfect example of the Mount Nittany Health’s mission to make people healthier, and that most certainly includes the youngest members of this great community.

Nathaniel Townsand, MD, FAAP, is a pediatric hospitalist with Mount Nittany Physician Group. For more information on the pediatric hospitalist program, visit

This article originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times.

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