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Julie Madden receives Akron Children’s Hospital’s Distinguished Service Award

President and CEO Grace Wakulchik and Julie Madden

02-20-2020 (Akron, Ohio)

Julie Madden, an employee of Akron Children’s Hospital for 41 years, is the recipient of the hospital’s annual Distinguished Service Award for 2019.

Madden, a radiation support specialist, joins her husband as one of the select few employees who have received the honor. Jim Madden, retired director of engineering and facility repair, received the award in 1997. The two met at the hospital in 1983 and are the only married couple to have received the service award.

The hospital’s Employee Foundation Council (EFC) presents one hospital employee with the award annually. The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1979 to recognize the contributions of the hospital’s then-chief executive officer Roger Sherman, and has since been awarded every year to an employee, physician or volunteer who demonstrates exemplary leadership, loyalty, dedication and service. Honorees are nominated by employees and voted upon by EFC.

Madden began her career at Akron Children’s in 1979 with a part-time job in the medical library. The following year she accepted a full-time position in radiology as a file clerk. She still works in radiology, but marvels at how much things have changed.

“When I first started, we had three radiologists and developed X-ray films in a dark room that were read on view boxes,” she said. “STAT X-rays were referred to as wet reads, reports were typed on typewriters and our scheduling book was handmade. Now we have 11 radiologists, multiple sites, multiple imaging capabilities and everything is digitized.”

Dr. Michael Rubin, chair of the radiology department, said Madden is the department’s “rock of stability.”

“When I’ve asked her about a challenging scheduling issue, she’s always able to make accommodations,” he said. “And, she follows up to make sure everything is completed. For many years prior to electronic scheduling, Julie would stay an extra few hours to finish up and prepare for the next day.”

Over the years, Madden has volunteered for hospital outings, the annual Kids are #1 Fun Run, blood drives and other EFC events.

Madden’s supervisor, Terry Doherty, said Madden regularly makes a difference at the hospital.

“Every day, Julie works to move patients up in the schedule so they can have fewer days with pain and a shorter time to fast in hopes of getting quicker results and treatments started sooner,” Doherty said. “One oncology nurse praised Julie for her willingness to reschedule a patient, so he didn’t miss out on a special family celebration.”

“The things people have said about me are very touching and I am grateful,” Madden said. “I take pride in what I do, and I want to do it right and do it well. The families I talk to have stories to tell, and although showing them a simple act of kindness may not seem like a big deal, it is often a big deal to them.”

The Maddens reside in Norton.