EIIC Remembers Dr. Calvin Sia

EIIC Remembers Dr. Calvin Sia

Dr. Sia

Dr. Calvin Sia, 93, an influential pediatrician and the driving force behind the creation of the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program, passed away on August 19, 2020.

EMS for Children celebrates the life and contributions of Dr. Calvin Sia. Without the tireless efforts [FP(1] of Dr. Sia, the EMS for Children program may have never been born. He is both the father of EMSC and the grandfather of the Medical Home concept. Dr. Sia developed innovative programs to improve the quality of medical care for children across the United States.

In 1972, Calvin Sia, MD, president of the Hawaii Medical Association, urged the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to develop and ensure emergency care systems meet the needs of critically ill and injured children. Dr. Sia worked with Senator Daniel Inouye who later was joined by Senators Orrin Hatch and Lowell Weicker in sponsoring the first Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) legislation, which passed in 1984. This landmark legislation authorized federal grant funds beginning in 1985 to assist states to improve emergency care provided to children suffering from life-threatening illness or injury. EMSC funding continues largely due to the work of national professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Emergency Nurses Association, that continue to advocate for EMSC.

In addition, Dr. Sia spearheaded the creation of the Variety School for children with learning disabilities, a Honolulu-based educational institution for children ages 5 through 13. Dr. Sia’s advocacy work over decades led to the formation of Hawaii’s child protective services and school health services programs. He helped create the home visiting Healthy Start Program and Zero-to-Three. He retired from his Honolulu-based medical practice in 1996, after almost 40 years of treating patients.

Dr. Sia's obituary can be found here for those interested in learning more about Dr. Sia's impact on pediatric emergency care.

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