Dr. Joel Davidson not only recently celebrated his 15th anniversary with Akron Children’s, but he was also recently celebrated with the 2023 Arnold Friedman MD, FAAP Community Pediatrician Award by the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Davidson was honored for his work and passion to improve health care for all Ohio’s children and his work within the community on lead prevention. A pediatrician in Locust Pediatric Care Group and associate professor of pediatrics at Northeast Ohio Medical University, Dr. Davidson said the award is special because he was honored by his peers.
“It gives me some personal validation that the work I’m doing, and the work being done at Akron Children’s, is meaningful,” he said. “It’s nice to get that recognition at the state level.”
Throughout his career at Akron Children’s, which also included his residency, Dr. Davidson has seen many changes.
“When I started in residency, I filled out orders and wrote notes on blank notebook paper that I kept in a binder,” he said. “Now we can keep track of what’s going on with each child through electronic medical records.
“Those technological advancements have allowed us to build appropriate standardizations and improve efficiencies,” he added. “We can see kids virtually. Patients can communicate with us directly through MyChart and schedule their appointments on days and times that are convenient for them.”
Improvements in the way providers deliver care have led to care standardization for both sick and well child visits.
“Standardized care helps us not miss things,” Dr. Davidson said. “We do vision and hearing screens for kids over 3 at well visits now. We screen teens for depression and anxiety at each visit. We make sure to talk to parents about recommended vaccines.”
Building collaborative relationships with his patients and their families is another part of his job.
“Every day I’m amazed that I’m taking care of a family’s most valuable resource,” he said. “I’m proud to work for an organization that has an ongoing clinical commitment to making kids’ lives better.”
Dr. Davidson said the hospital’s collaborations with community partners also help improve the lives of his patients.
he said. “I’m glad we can deliver high-quality food and be a source of comfort for people in a difficult time. It also helps us make that educational connection between nutrition and chronic medical conditions.”
As co-director of the hospital’s Lead Clinic, Dr. Davidson and the team provide screening, diagnosis and treatment for children who may be suffering from lead poisoning.
“We are the go-to pediatric resource for lead screening in Ohio,” he said. “We’ve bolstered our ability to screen and identify those problems throughout the state and we share that knowledge and expertise to support providers of kids in other parts of the state.”
In addition to caring for kids, an important part of Dr. Davidson’s career is as a physician informaticist.
“I think about the flow of patient information and how we get that information back and forth between departments and outside agencies. This is something we are still growing into,” he said.
“I still love the moments I have with kids,” he added. “It’s special to see an accomplishment happen or have a kid reach a milestone no one expected. The small joys are important to me.”
This award has helped Dr. Davidson appreciate that he and the hospital are on the right track.
“It’s a validation to keep going and doing the work,” he said. “We aren’t done yet.”