David William Kays, M.D.

Headshot of David William Kays

Languages: English, Spanish


Pediatric Surgery, Surgical Critical Care


St Petersburg Outpatient Care Center - Pediatric Surgery

601 5th Street South
St Petersburg, FL 33701-4804
Phone: 727-767-4170 | Fax: 727-767-4346
St Petersburg Outpatient Care Center - Pediatric Surgery - Google Maps


Dr. Kays is the medical director of the Center for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and leads the first unit in the country exclusively dedicated to these patients. He also serves as director of the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program and co-director of the Fetal Diagnosis/Treatment program. He joined the medical staff in 2016.
Dr. Kays has more than two decades of clinical and research leadership in the treatment of CDH, a life-threatening birth defect that affects about one in every 3,000 pregnancies. His research has focused on defining the best treatment strategies for this challenging neonatal diagnosis and contributed to significant advances in care and outcomes. 
Dr. Kays was previously with UF Health and Shands Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years. He was also surgeon in chief, professor of surgery and chief of the division of pediatric surgery in the University of Florida College of Medicine, Department of Surgery, where he led the ECMO and congenital diaphragmatic hernia program for over 20 years. He is the author or coauthor of more than 60 peer-reviewed original science publications and speaks nationally and internationally on CDH care and outcomes. 
Dr. Kays earned his medical degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He completed a surgical residency at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center, and then completed a pediatric surgery fellowship at Morgan-Stanley Children’s Hospital of Columbia University, New York. Dr. Kays is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Children’s Oncology Group.

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  • MD; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (1985)


  • Pediatric Surgery; New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (1992)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery (General Surgery) (1991)
  • American Board of Surgery (Pediatric Surgery) (1994)
  • American Board of Surgery (Surgical Critical Care) (1993)


Below you'll find a list of the insurance accepted by specialty physicians at Johns Hopkins All Children's. Please check with your insurance company and the physician's office before your child's visit to verify coverage and referral requirements.

Inclusion of a certain health plan on the list below does not guarantee that all services, locations or physicians are covered by your insurance company. Benefit plan design, credentialing and network criteria may limit coverage. The acceptance of certain plains may change occasionally and this page may not be immediately updated.

  • United (Commercial)
  • Aetna Better Health (Medicaid)
  • Simply Healthcare (Medicaid&HealthyKids)
  • TriCare-HMHS (Commercial)
  • BCBS FL (Commercial)
  • Coventry (Commercial)
  • Avmed (Commercial)
  • Evolutions (Commercial)
  • Coventry (Commercial)
  • Gulf Coast Provider Network (Commercial)
  • United Community Plan (Medicaid&HealthyKids)
  • Humana (Medicaid)
  • Molina (Medicaid)
  • Cigna Health Care (Commercial)
  • Coventry (Commercial)
  • Aetna (Commercial)
  • OOS WI Medicaid
  • Humana Commercial
  • WPS TriCare East (Commercial)
  • Sunshine State/Wellcare (Medicaid&HealthyKids)
  • Florida Medicaid
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