Dr. Jeffrey Naples pursues his life just as his all-time hero former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt did: with passion for his work and compassion for his fellow man — or kids, in Dr. Naples’ case.
Just one year after joining Akron Children’s as a pediatric intensivist in its Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PICU), Dr. Naples took on an additional role as the hospital’s newest medical director of pediatric transport. It’s a testament to his dedication to helping patients. In his dual role, he ensures kids receive the highest quality care at some of their earliest and most critical moments.
Ask him what interested him most about this new role and he’ll tell you delivering an Akron Children’s level of care and expertise even before the patient reaches our hospital doors. After all, as a patient here as a child, he understands firsthand the tremendous impact Akron Children’s has on its patients and the community.
What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?
My focus will be to ensure that we, as the transport service, are providing the highest quality care to children in our community and beyond.
What experience do you have in transport medicine?
I had the opportunity to work with the critical care transport team during my critical care fellowship training at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. I worked with transport leadership on the development of quality improvement initiatives and implementation of treatment protocols to ensure a high level of care would be provided to our patients during inter-facility transport.
What interests you most about transport medicine?
What I love about transport medicine is the opportunity to make an impact in a child’s care from the earliest moments. With our transport service, our pediatric expertise is brought to the patient at the referral facility and an Akron Children’s level of care is provided to the patient even before they reach the doors of our hospital.
Why did you want to become a doctor?
I have always thought that the relationship a doctor has with their patients is so unique and special. It is a career that allows for the opportunity to help people during some of the most difficult times in their life. Therefore, it’s such a rewarding profession. It’s been a great job so far, and I have met some very incredible and inspiring people because of it.
What did you eat for breakfast? If nothing, what’s your favorite breakfast?
Cheerios, but I would have rather had huevos rancheros. I love Mexican food and could eat it every day for every meal.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Check the scores from the previous night’s sporting events on ESPN.com. I am a huge sports fan, especially when it comes to Cleveland professional sports teams.
What piece of advice did someone give you when you were young that still resonates with you today?
My dad would always tell me and my siblings, “You’ve gotta sprint through the finish line,” at the end of every semester or school year when we were feeling burnt out and sick of school. It’s just a good reminder to always work hard and do your best no matter what the circumstances.
Do you dunk your Oreos in milk, lick off the icing, eat them as they are or avoid them altogether?
Dunk them in milk. My wife likes to dunk hers in peanut butter, which I think is pretty gross.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up not too far from Akron in Medina. It was a great town to grow up in. My parents still live there, so it’s been nice to live close to them again.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My wife, Nicole, and I have been married for 2 years. She is a nurse practitioner in Akron Children’s Burn Center. We have a son, Charlie, who is almost 4 months old, and 2 crazy labs named Scout and Teddy.
What’s your favorite movie/book/TV show/sports team?
My favorite sports team is the Cleveland Indians. I am a big history buff, so I love movies and books related to history. My favorite TV shows are Scrubs, Seinfeld and Game of Thrones (despite the series finale).
Who do you most admire (heroes or historical figure) and why?
I would definitely have to say Teddy Roosevelt, who I think was one of this country’s most interesting and successful presidents. He was a person who lived life with great passion. He had countless interests and talents, and I think he would still have been one of the most interesting people even if he hadn’t served as president. He is certainly one of my all-time heroes. My wife even let me name our dog after him.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s?
Ever since entering medical school I had hoped to work at Akron Children’s. Growing up nearby in Medina, I knew the hospital had an excellent reputation. As a child, I was even a patient here, so I knew from firsthand experience how great of a place it is.
Both the PICU and transport services are excellent here, so it was pretty much the perfect job opportunity for me. My wife and I have worked at Akron Children’s for almost a year now and love the experience.