The old idiom: “What you see is what you get” is not just an expression, but a motto Danielle Maholtz, DO, is proud to live by in her role as Akron Children’s newest pediatric intensivist in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). She takes a kind, yet direct and honest approach to caring for critically ill or severely injured children and teens who need advanced treatments, special monitoring and around the clock observation. It’s these personality traits that better help her connect, support and care for patients and families who may be experiencing some of the most difficult and traumatic events of their lives.
No doubt, the hardest part of Dr. Maholtz’ role is caring for kids in critical condition. But, the easiest part, she said, is witnessing kids’ immense strength and resilience while healing. In fact, it’s what gets her up every morning to manage their care and help kids feel better.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
I completed my residency at Akron Children’s and missed the communal atmosphere and Akron area.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I’m a pediatric intensivist with an academic interest in studying and addressing health disparities. I hope to apply these combined interests to advancing child health outcomes both during the hospital stay and in the community.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I work in pediatric critical care medicine. I chose it because I enjoy critical thinking and applying physiology to address unique individual patient situations.
Do you have a favorite instructor or mentor?
I previously worked with Dr. Carley Riley at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She continues to serve as a wonderful mentor to me both as an intensivist and a health equity researcher. She’s been very supportive in allowing me to explore my interests, while also guiding me to complete various educational opportunities to build my skill set.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I hope to serve as a kind, but honest support to patients and caregivers who may be experiencing some of the most difficult and traumatic events of their lives.
How does your personality fit your role?
I’m very direct and honest, but I always provide a critical reasoning behind my thoughts and care plans. This stems from my logical and methodical approach to life.
What is the easiest part of your job?
I love seeing children improve and getting to experience their individual personalities, while witnessing their immense strength during healing from critical illness.
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to reconnecting with some of the amazing faculty and former mentors who remain at Akron Children’s.
Where did you grow up?
I’m originally from a small rural town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
What is one thing you haven’t done yet that you would like to achieve?
I would like to complete a marathon. Truly, I have a dream of competing in an Iron Man, but I probably should complete a marathon first!
What do you do when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working, I can be found hiking or gardening, really doing anything active. When I’m trying to relax, I enjoy reading.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself to try to enjoy each day, even the stressful ones. You’ll pass every hurdle along the way, and eventually you’ll move so far from them you won’t even notice the struggles when you look behind you.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Yellowstone National Park. I’ve always enjoyed nature and really appreciate how beautiful something unplanned and undeveloped can be.