Dr. Hayley Hellstern grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, where she became a huge fan of steamed crabs (of course) and the Washington Capitals (we forgive her). She stayed close to home for college, earning a BA in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University, before heading to Colorado for med school at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Hellstern came to Pittsburgh for her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital, along with her (high school sweetheart) husband, who knew and loved the city from his time as an undergrad at Carnegie Mellon. During her time at Children’s, Dr. Hellstern was part of the Pediatric Advocacy, Leadership, and Service program (PALS), and became an Early Career Representative for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In addition to her advocacy work for children and families — “Seeing patients in the office can only do so much,” she says — Dr. Hellstern’s other professional passions are breastfeeding medicine and support. Her connection to that work is personal, too; she credits her family, her pediatricians, and her lactation consultants for the support they provided when she had her son during her 4th year of med school.
Dr. Hellstern spends most of her free time with her husband, son, and daughter, playing outside, going to the Pittsburgh Zoo, or watching classic Disney movies together.
Dr. Hellstern loves to read (especially at the beach!), garden, and travel — her family hopes to one day visit all of the US National Parks! She’s also proud to be part of a volunteer group painting a mural in Aspinwall Park.
Her favorite toys as a child were her WaterBaby doll (when it didn’t leak everywhere!), her stuffed animals, her Barbie house, and the classic doctor game, Operation.