Jonathan Pelletier, MD, is a family man. When he isn’t busy saving the lives of children in his Akron Children’s family, he can be found making memories with his own family. Together, they enjoy outdoor adventures, from berry picking to caving to swimming in Lake Erie at Fairport Harbor.
It’s these special moments and watching his children grow up that motivates Dr. Pelletier to get up every morning and come to work as our newest pediatric intensivist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). He treats every child as he would his own, providing the best possible care to critically ill or severely injured children and teens who need advanced treatments, special monitoring and around the clock observation. In his role, he also contributes to their care as a data scientist, where he analyzes information from patient medical records to improve processes and care for future patients.
Dr. Pelletier loves being challenged with a variety of problems to solve each day. But to him, nothing beats watching kids recover and return home to their families to continue relishing the joys of childhood. After all, he’s a family-first kinda guy.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
I was excited about the opportunity to continue practicing clinical pediatric intensive care, while also continuing my data science research.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I’m a pediatric intensivist, so I take care of children admitted to the PICU. In this role, I hope to provide the best possible care for any child who comes to Akron Children’s, whether for a scheduled surgery or an unexpected illness.
I also work as a data scientist. This means that I use information from the medical record to help improve the care of future patients at Akron Children’s. I hope to work on projects improving sepsis care and reducing the amount of time children spend on ventilators in the PICU.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
Pediatric intensive care is the study of critical illness in all its forms. We have special expertise in supporting children who are “in shock,” or need help delivering oxygen throughout their body. Sometimes this involves breathing assistance or control of blood pressure through medications. We take care of a wide range of conditions, from asthma to complex congenital heart disease. I found the variation exciting — and I still do! I love that I get to think about a wide range of problems every day.
What do you like most about being a provider?
I went into pediatrics because I love watching children recover. I’m always thrilled when kids are ready to leave the PICU and get back to “regular life.”
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
The PICU can be a stressful place for children and their families. I always hope to leave the impression that someone really cares for their child and will do everything possible to make them better.
How do you deal with the emotional impact of being a provider?
I love spending time with my family on the weekends. Seeing my own children grow up reminds me of why I want to continue in this line of work.
What excites you most about medicine?
In the time I’ve been practicing, we’ve already seen new cures for previously deadly diseases. I’m excited to continue to watch the development of new medicines and vaccines.
What would you most like to change about health care today?
In a world where NASA just flew a helicopter on Mars, I feel like technology in medicine is lagging. I’d love to see more computer scientists working to improve patient care.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up just outside of Portland, Maine. I think this is the reason for my love of the outdoors.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to travel to see the northern lights.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love any kind of outdoor activity. In particular, I enjoy spending time at Lake Erie with my wife and children. We also enjoy berry and apple picking, biking, caving and skiing.
What’s your favorite quote?
“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving! My family always has a get-together. Because we live far apart, this is the time when I’m most likely to see all of them.