Our Vision - Pediatric Residency

"The vision of the pediatric residency program at The University of Vermont Children's Hospital in partnership with the University of Vermont College of Medicine is to foster in our residents the highest levels of humanism in medicine, advocacy for children through community, regional, national, and global outreach, commitment to high quality patient and family-centered care and the ongoing pursuit of research and scholarly activities. Core to our philosophy is an emphasis on foundational training, building our residents as teachers and producing competent and autonomous pediatricians who are critical thinkers and practice evidence-based medicine. The close one-on-one relationships and mentoring that is central to our program fosters deep experiential learning, professional development, and a well-rounded education and training that promotes the skills to excel as a pediatrician in any future career – from primary care for a rural or underserved population to the most specialized care in an academic institution." — UVM Pediatrics.

Pediatric Residency Program Leadership

Jill Rinehart, MD FAAP

Jill Rinehart, MD, FAAP
Program Director

I am thrilled to “come home” as the Residency Program Director at our beloved University of Vermont Children's Hospital! I have such fond memories of my own experience in this pediatric residency program and I am delighted to contribute to its current success. After twenty years in private pediatric practice in Burlington as a full time community pediatrician, I realized my interests were taking me more and more towards teaching and advocacy and am excited to have made this change to academia. I thoroughly enjoy my clinical experience- especially the family relationships that develop over years of working together and will continue to practice with the University in primary pediatric care. I bring this enthusiasm for clinical practice to my teaching, advocacy and community building. I fell in love with Vermont as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, hiking and enjoying the outdoors in my free time. But I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota where my formative years were spent as a big sister to two younger siblings with complex medical needs. Indeed, this personal experience is the source of my passion for family centered care and has fueled the development of my expertise in medical home, care coordination and working with families to improve population health and medical training. I was thrilled to return to Vermont after medical school at the University of Minnesota and have sunk deep roots into this community as both a parent and a community pediatrician. I recently completed my tenure as the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont chapter president and am proud of the legislative advocacy our chapter has accomplished alongside our resident pediatricians on behalf of children in Vermont. Over the years I've had the great fortune of having several remarkable physician mentors, most of them established as a result of this residency program. One of the best parts about our program is that you never really leave—you become a part of our family and your success, is our success.

Dr. Amelis Hopkins

Amelia Hopkins, MD
Associate Program Director

In addition to giving me fantastic training, my three years in the UVM Pediatric Residency Program led me to fall in love with UVM, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Burlington area. After completing my fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at the Children's Hospital Colorado, I was absolutely thrilled to return and join the UVM faculty in 2007. Having trained both here and at a larger institution, I believe strongly in our program's ability to prepare pediatricians for phenomenal careers in primary care, subspecialty pediatrics, or child health advocacy.  Along with the other members of the residency leadership team and faculty, I share the vision of a training environment that helps residents achieve their careers goals through an academically rigorous, personalized, and family-like environment. I have always been interested in education and learning theory, which probably explains why one of my hobbies outside of work is dog training. Clinically, I have special interests in the care of medically complex “high-tech” children and in abusive head trauma. 

Kenzi Nelson.png

Kenzi Nelson
Program Administrator

Kenzi grew up in a quaint and picturesque Vermont town, within what is referred to as the North East Kingdom. Growing up here has engrained a strong commitment to community, which is sensed by all who visit.  Watching my father work hard and become successful in the ownership and growth of his business, I developed a passion for the intricacies and commitment business entails. I received my BS in Business Administration in 2011 followed by an internship at a neighboring Community Health Center in New Hampshire. I continued to pursue my interest in the Health Administration field and began working at UVMMC in 2013. I was thrilled to join the Pediatric Residency leadership team in early 2016. I have a passion for helping others to succeed and focusing on resident wellness. My husband and I (and our two dogs, Dexter and Casper!) love this area, the gorgeous views, and all this state has to offer.   




Nicholas Bonenfant, MD
Chief Resident

Nick was born and raised in Concord, New Hampshire. After high school, he traveled to Virginia to attend Roanoke College where he majored in French and biochemistry. After graduating, he missed family, friends, and skiing in New England and relocated to Burlington, Vermont to begin working as a research technician in a pulmonology lab with a particular focus in lung bioengineering. During his medical school experience at the University of Vermont, he quickly discovered his strong interest in pediatrics. He completed his residency training and is thrilled to be staying on as the chief resident for 2020-2021. He hopes to continue to explore his professional (and personal) interests during this additional year of training, which include adolescent, LGBTQ+, and mental/behavioral health. He’ll transition into his new role as a primary care pediatrician at Lakeside Pediatrics (located in Burlington, VT) in summer 2021 after his chief year. Outside of the hospital, he enjoys exploring Vermont with his partner and three dogs, traveling, cooking, running, and skiing.

Pediatric sites:
Larner College of Medicine at UVM
UVM Medical Center

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