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Honors and Awards

  • Excellence in Primary Care Education Resident Teaching Award 2020

Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Hailey Nelson joined Valley Children’s as a complex care pediatrician at the Charlie Mitchell Children’s Center in 2016. Dr. Nelson enjoys working with children of all ages and abilities and is especially passionate about providing the best possible care to medically fragile children and their families. She is also a licensed breastfeeding consultant, certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultants to support nursing mothers and their babies.

Dr. Nelson is driven by her dedication to education and mentorship. She is a core faculty member of Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program, Affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine, and also serves as director of the Program’s continuity clinic.

In addition to her in-clinic and faculty duties, Dr. Nelson sits on several Valley Children’s committees and working groups, including the Corporate Compliance Committee, Clinical Competency Committee and Graduate Medical Education Committee. In her role as co-chair of Valley Children’s Clinical Learning Environment and Wellness Committee, Dr. Nelson champions resident wellness. She focuses not only on professional development resources for residents, but also incorporates social activities to support resident wellness, including “puppies in the park” meet-up events, to help residents find a healthy work-life balance and maintain their joy in medicine.

Prior to receiving her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine, Dr. Nelson completed a post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. She completed a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters – Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. During residency, she served as chief resident for a full program of 66 residents and earned a certificate of public health.

Her contributions to pediatric healthcare research have been published in peer-reviewed publications including Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

As an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 1, Dr. Nelson regularly presents locally and statewide on important topics for physicians, including self-care and physician wellness. She has also served on a number of the Academy’s committees on topics including genetics, fetal alcohol syndrome and COVID-19. As faculty for the AAP’s Infection Prevention Control: Risk Recognition and Communication ECHO (Extension for Community Health Care Outcomes) program as part of the AAP and CDC’s Project Firstline collaborative, Dr. Nelson mentors other physicians on essential infection prevention topics. Her lectures on triage decisions and care for complex patients with COVID-19 provided guidance to her fellow pediatricians on how to safely care for medically fragile patients during the pandemic.
In addition to physician education, Dr. Nelson is committed to giving back to her community through volunteerism and outreach. Whether it is providing parenting support for teenage mothers as a Fresno County Teen Parent Conference speaker or serving as a camp doctor for pediatric cancer summer camps, Dr. Nelson is passionate about serving others.

Dr. Nelson was recently selected to represent California as Dr. California America 2021, and will compete for the title of Dr. America in September 2021. As Dr. California America, she plans to use her platform to educate, mentor and advocate for causes supporting children’s health and well-being.

However, Dr. Nelson is no stranger to advocating for children’s health. She regularly appears in local print and TV news media discussing pediatric healthcare, but has been covered nationally as well, including an article on facemasks for children that was published in The Huffington Post at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has made guest appearances on the Valley Children’s Voice physician podcast and writes for Valley Children’s At the Heart blog. As the ambassador for Safe Kids Central California, Dr. Nelson hosts biweekly virtual Lunch and Learn sessions for parents covering a variety of safety and injury prevention topics, and frequently appears as a subject matter expert on Valley Children’s Virtual Health Series for Families events.

In her free time, Dr. Nelson enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, including doing art projects together and refining her skills as an expert slime maker. Her family enjoys nature and outdoor activities including camping and playing at the dog park with their two dogs.


Medical Education

  • Medical SchoolUniversity of Washington School of Medicine
  • ResidencyChildren’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters – Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA

Additional Information

  • Specialty certification by the International Board of Lactation Consultants to support nursing mothers and their babies