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Hudson -- A doctor at Akron Children's Hospital has been named recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for 2013.
Dr. John Pope was presented with an inscribed plaque in January by the Employee Foundation Council at Akron Children's Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson.
Pope, the associate director of Akron Children's pediatric intensive care unit, and his wife, Sharon, live in Hudson. They have two sons.
Pope was humbled to be "even considered for this honor," he said.
"I felt very humbled to receive the award. It is a great honor for me to be given the EFC Distinguished Service Award. I work with so many people here at Akron Children's that I feel are at least as deserving of this award, if not more, than I am," Pope said.
The award, established in 1979 to recognize the contributions of the hospital's then Chief Executive Officer Roger Sherman, has been awarded every year to an employee who demonstrates exemplary leadership, loyalty, dedication and service, according to the hospital. Honorees are nominated by fellow employees and voted upon by the employees.
"I was told over the phone that I had been selected for the award and asked to keep it secret from all but my family until the day of the award ceremony," Pope said.
Pope, who grew up in Cleveland, has been with Akron Children's for 15 years, according to a spokesperson. Pope ventured into medicine as a career after listening to the stories of his grandmother, a pediatric nurse, and a neighbor who was a doctor.
Pope attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University. Pope did his pediatrics residency at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland and he completed a pediatric pharmacology fellowship at the University of Virginia Hospitals, as well as a pediatric critical care fellowship at Rainbow Babies.
"John is approachable, respectful, responsible and empowering," said Bill Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children's Hospital. "He is a leader, makes people feel wonderful, is trustworthy as a caregiver and goes beyond the call of caring for patients."
Pope also has served on Akron Children's Ethics Committee and volunteers each summer at Fresh Air Camp, for children who have respiratory issues and are on ventilators. He also served as a volunteer at Dreamnight, an annual event at the Akron Zoo for patients with special needs and their families.
Doctor Pope also has traveled five times since the 2010 Hatian earthquake to volunteer at St. Damien's Hospital in Port-au-Prince to help educate its medical staff.
"Pediatric Critical Care is such a team sport and our patients do well because of the phenomenal people that make up the team I am privileged to work with, Pope said of the Children's Hospital staff. "Nurses, therapists, dieticians, social workers, engineering staff, environmental services, and administrative staff all play a role in giving each child and his or her family the best care possible."
Akron Children's Hospital is the largest pediatric provider in northeast Ohio. With two pediatric hospitals, as well as 18 primary care and nearly 70 pediatric specialty locations, the staff handles more than 600,000 patient visits a year.
For more information, visit akronchildrens.org.