• Pediatric Care
  • Renown Health
  • University of Nevada, Reno

Kristina Deeter, MD, MBA, FAAP Appointed Chair of Pediatrics (UNR Med) and Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children’s Hospital

August 05, 2022

Kristina Deeter, MD, MBA, FAAP has been promoted from Vice Chair of Pediatrics to Chair of Pediatrics, University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) and Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children’s Hospital, effective July 15, 2022. Dr. Deeter follows Dr. Max Coppes who recently stepped down to lead Renown’s Pennington Cancer Institute on a full-time basis. Dr. Coppes will continue to serve as Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at UNR Med.

Dr. Kris DeeterIn her new role, Dr. Deeter will be responsible for leading a growing team of over 40 pediatric physician specialists and 15 general pediatric providers at Renown Children’s Hospital who provide over 30,000 patient and family visits annually for families across northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northern California.

Larry Duncan, MS, Vice President of Pediatrics and Surgery & Administrator of Renown Children's & Women’s Services will serve as dyad partner with Dr. Deeter. “Together, Dr. Deeter and Larry Duncan will be responsible for the strategic direction, operations, fiscal management and recruitment of professionals to Renown Children’s,” said Sy Johnson, MBA, president and chief of staff for Renown Health. “As one of Renown’s ‘Destination Health’ service lines, Dr. Deeter and Larry will continue to support an integrated leadership model that puts the youngest patients- and their families- at the center of all that we do.”

As Physician-in-Chief for Renown Children’s Hospital, Dr. Deeter will serve as a senior clinical leader with oversight for the healthcare system’s pediatric medical and surgical services, academic advancement, research and teaching programs.

“Dr. Deeter is an energetic, collaborative physician, researcher and mentor who cares deeply about improving the health and well-being of children everywhere,” said Thomas Graf, MD, CEO of Renown Health. “This is an exceptionally exciting time to shape the future of pediatrics in this community, and we are so excited that she is embarking on this new role. I know her talent, energy and inspiring leadership will further elevate our mission of outstanding care, exceptional training, innovative research and impactful advocacy in children’s health.”

Dr. Kris Deeter is a highly accomplished physician leader with over twenty years of experience in children’s hospitals and outpatient settings, including federal, academic and private practices. Locally, Dr. Deeter has served as Vice Chair of Pediatrics for Renown Children’s while also leading the ICU teams of Pediatrix National Medical Group as their Specialty Medical Officer since August 2021. For the past six years, she has been the Medical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatric Hospitalist teams for Renown and Pediatrix. Since 2017, Dr. Deeter has served as an Educator for REMSA and other Northern Nevada counties, providing pediatric education for Care Flight teams, paramedics and fire departments. Dr. Deeter also recently completed her MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno.

“The School of Medicine is delighted to appoint Dr. Deeter as the new Chair of Pediatrics at UNR Med and Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children’s Hospital, says, Melissa Piasecki, MD, UNR Med Acting Dean. “She brings extensive experience in medical education, a positive leadership style and unwavering commitment to the community. We look forward to the ongoing development of medical education and research opportunities in pediatrics.”

Dr. Deeter has a passion for service. Coming from an underserved background, her education started in a Head Start preschool. Years later, she received a full-ride scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley where she double-majored in biology and psychology. Dr. Deeter found her true calling in pediatrics while at medical school at New York Medical College. There, she developed an interest in pediatric HIV and infectious diseases while volunteering to help during the HIV/AIDS crisis. Her medical training was primarily funded through a government scholarship that allowed her to start her career as a pediatrician caring for underserved children with the National Health Service Corps.

After residency, she and her military husband followed orders and educational opportunities and moved around the country. She worked in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in San Antonio with predominantly Spanish-speaking patients and led one of the first academic pediatric hospitalist programs at the University of Texas. Early on, Dr. Deeter developed a passion for medical education developing a new curriculum for students and transitioning residents to new work hour rules. After a move with the military to Ft Benning, Georgia and a busy private practice, she was recruited to Seattle Children’s/University of Washington School of Medicine for ICU fellowship training. There, she joined a large DKA study group and launched her own research into sedation andcomfort practices for critically ill children, publishing in top journals in pediatrics. She later transitioned to clinical practice in a large CICU/PICU in South Florida where she continued her academic collaborations with Florida Atlantic University.

Dr. Deeter volunteers her time locally and internationally, including many visits to help improve the only PICU in Haiti after the earthquake there in 2012. She was a board member for a women and children’s hospital in Bangladesh while also supporting local children’s organizations like Head Start. She has served in leadership positions throughout her career, both in academic and private settings, including terms as vice president of the Broward County (FL) medical society, legislative positions with the TMA and FMA, and chairing the hospital’s peer review committee. The Deeter family moved to Reno in 2016 for an opportunity to move closer to family and for what she calls her “dream job” as a leader at Renown Children’s Hospital.

“Dr. Deeter is a highly competent and passionate care giver, dedicated teacher, and fierce advocate for the health and well-being of children and their families,” said Max J. Coppes MD, former Chair of Pediatrics (UNR Med) and Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children’s Hospital. “We are fortunate to have her step up to this new role. Her extensive experience will springboard our Children’s Hospital, our membership in Children’s Oncology Group, and if approved in September 2022, a new 3-year accredited pediatric residency program in Reno. She is an inspiration to all, and will help encourage UNR Med students who choose pediatric specialties to excel as pediatricians and eventually practice in northern Nevada, our rural communities and our state.”

Dr. Deeter is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine: Pediatric section; American Academy of Pediatrics, Nevada Chapter; AAP Section Membership: Critical Care; Pediatric Trauma Society; Pediatric Sedation Society and the American Medical Association. She is a frequent contributor to national and local media on topics regarding pediatrics and child health.


The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), Nevada’s first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Since 1969, UNR Med has trained more than 3,900 students, residents and fellows. UNR Med continues to improve the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit med.unr.edu.

Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoeand northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®.