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Neonatology chief, peds critical care specialist join faculty

Published on Monday, December 29, 2014

Published on December 29, 2014

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff:

Renate Dare Savich, M.D.


Dr. Renate Dara Savich, professor of pediatrics, has joined the Medical Center faculty as chief of the Division of Neonatology and Newborn Services. She was previously a professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

After receiving a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1978, Savich earned an M.D. at the Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, in 1982. Savich did a pediatrics internship from 1982-83 and a pediatrics residency from 1983-85 at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, before completing fellowship training in neonatal/perinatal medicine from 1985-88 at the University of California, San Francisco.

An attending neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of New Mexico since 1988, Savich has served in many roles during her 26 years at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. At Children’s Hospital of New Mexico, Savich has served as chief of the Division of Neonatology, medical director of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and most recently program director for the Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Program.

A fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics, Savich is currently the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, representing more than 6,000 neonatologists in the U.S. She is also a member of several professional organizations, including the Perinatal Research Society and the American Thoracic Society.

An internationally sought speaker, Savich has presented more than 125 lectures at professional conferences and meetings and has garnered close to $2 million in grant funding for various research projects. A member of the editorial board of NeoReviews, Savich has served as a reviewer for seven different pediatrics publications and has authored or coauthored 17 articles in peer-reviewed professional publications and 53 abstracts.

Savich also has extensive involvement in neonatal global health and has recently been appointed as the AAP liaison to Ethiopia for the Saving 100,000 Newborns Initiative. She was appointed to the advisory board of PACE Global Health International, an organization in Mexico dedicated to improving maternal and neonatal outcomes through provider training in Mexico. Finally, she is the current chair of the planning committee for the 2016 NeoPrep, an intensive board review course in neonatal-perinatal medicine organized by the AAP.

Jana Sperka, M.D.


Dr. Jana Sperka, a pediatric critical care fellow graduate from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Critical Care. Her primary appointment will be in Tupelo as a hospitalist on the medical staff of North Mississippi Medical Center.

After receiving the B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, in 2000, Sperka earned her M.D. at the Medical University of the Americas, Nevis, West Indies, in 2008. Sperka did a pediatrics residency from 2008-11 at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, and a pediatric critical care fellowship from 2011-14 at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

An active member of several professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Sperka has given multiple poster presentations, coauthored one book chapter and has an article approved for publication. Her research interests include transport medicine and global health.