Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute

About Us

A partnership between the Kiwanis Foundation of New England, Tufts Medical Center since 1981, the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute (KPTI) is located at the Medical Center in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.


KPTI began in the late 1970's with a desire of New England Kiwanians to serve children with a comprehensive, long-term commitment. Many ideas for helping children were discussed, but pediatric trauma, a new and underserved area of medicine was chosen. Dr. Harold "Hap" Gerrish, a dentist from Maine and long time Kiwanian, presented the idea of a center for medical treatment, research and safety outreach programs to Tufts Medical Center, and in 1981, the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute was founded. A helicopter first-response program was part of the initial plan and today KPTI and the Tufts Medical Center are members of the consortium of hospitals that support Boston MedFlight.

KPTI is a non-profit, tax exempt organization. The programs and services provided by the institute are supported by the Kiwanis Foundation of New England, Tufts Medical Center, the GenRe Corporation, The Boston Foundation, the New England District of Key Clubs, the New England District of Circle K, and by donations from corporations, foundations and individuals.

Under the guidance of Dr. Walter J. Chwals, Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Director of the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute, injured children are expertly cared for by a team of highly skilled physicians, nurses and other health care providers all extensively trained in the specialized care of pediatric trauma patients.


Members of our trauma team including our KPTI fellow, who is funded by the Gen/Re Corporation, conduct ongoing pediatric trauma research.

Community safety

Community safety is a high priority for KPTI. We provide safety information for Kiwanis clubs and other organizations to distribute to their local hospitals, parent groups, day care centers, medical emergency providers, police and fire departments, and doctor's offices. We provide a complete bicycle safety program "The Kiwanis Family Safety Day and Bicycle Rodeo" for clubs and community groups to host in their local areas, teaching children and their families how to ride bikes safely in a fun and interactive format.


Key Club (High School) and Circle K (University) groups throughout New England and the U.S. help with many of our outreach programs by raising funds, developing new programs, and implementing programs in local schools.


KPTI is a member of the Massachusetts Prevent Injuries NOW! Network (MassPINN), the Greater Boston Safe Kids Coalition, the Partnership for Passenger Safety (PPS) and the New England Coalition of Trauma Nurse Coordinators.