Two University of Utah physicians will co-chair the U.'s Department of Pediatrics during the sabbatical leave of Dr. Michael A. Simmons.

Simmons was granted a one-year sabbatical by the U. Institutional Council effective Jan. 1, 1991.The pediatric specialist requested the sabbatical to serve as medical adviser to the Labor and Human Resources Committee, of which Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is ranking minority leader.

U. spokesman John Dwan said that during Simmons' absence, Dr. Richard Molteni will be acting chairman of the U. Department of Pediatrics for clinical affairs, and Dr. Lucy M. Osborn will be acting chairwoman for pediatrics for academic affairs.

Molteni, director of the newborn intensive care unit at Primary Children's Medical Center, has also been named acting medical director of the private children's hospital.