Honors for 4 Pediatric Heroes

October 21, 2009

Dr Bhagwan Das Bang received the Pediatric Hero Award at The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition (NCE) in Washington, DC today (October 20, 2009).

Dr Bhagwan Das Bang received the Pediatric Hero Award at The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition (NCE) in Washington, DC today (October 20, 2009). He was 1 of 4 pediatricians selected by the NCE Planning Group Executive Committee to receive the award.


Dr Bang grew up in a small town in India where he watched children suffer because of lack of preventive medicine. This inspired him to pursue a career as a pediatrician. He graduated from Osmania University in 1986 as an Indian Council of Medical Research Scholar. He was chosen as best graduating pediatrician from Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad-the largest hospital in southern India.

Before immigrating to the United States, Dr Bang practiced in the neonatal ICU at Al Yamamah Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for 5 years. On completion of his residency and chief residency at Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, he began practicing in rural southern Alabama, where he continues to provide care for underprivileged children as a solo pediatrician. Although he initially came to this underserved area to fulfill his immigration requirement, he became attached to the community and his patients-so much so that he decided to stay despite his dream of joining a teaching hospital.

Dr Bang makes himself available to all of his patients 24/7 365 days a year, which has reduced unnecessary ER visits. Somehow, in his spare time, he is also a preceptor for medical students on rural rotations and a regular contributor to Consultant For Pediatricians.

The story of the “Pediatric Hero” awards. Last fall, the AAP launched a campaign to find stories of the every day pediatric heroes among us. Pediatricians across the United States were given billboards to place in their offices. The billboards provided instructions for anyone interested on how to nominate their pediatrician for the award. The AAP received hundreds of entries. The 4 winners were chosen after considerable deliberation by the committee.

Three more pediatric heros. The 3 other pediatricians who were honored at the AAP NCE (on October 17, 18, and 19, respectively) were:

Joseph Philip Peter, MD of Crestview, Fla. Dr Peter believes in staying late to see the last walk-in patient and in seeing all sick children regardless of financial status. He does not let a patient’s financial status influence his standard of care. His strong interest in his community led to his nomination. Dr Peter offered this statement to the AAP, “Often, we are in a position to give unsolicited anticipatory guidance - and despite their reaction -remember, patients depend on you and (ultimately) appreciate your candor.”

•Scott J. Cohen, MD of Oakland, Calif. Dr Cohen considers it a great privilege to practice medicine as a pediatrician and thinks of himself as an ambassador for his patients, by helping them navigate complex medical decisions and treatment plans. He has worked in Africa and Latin American as well as in the United States. He strongly believes “that every child born into this world should have the right to a high standard of health care, access to clean air and water, a well-balanced diet, unconditional love, and an environment free of violence.”

Catherine Bartlett, MD of Northampton, Mass. Dr Bartlett became a champion for deaf children by accident almost 20 years ago when she attended a conference on cochlear implants. She believes that deaf children should be given the opportunity to be part of the larger world, and now that nearly all states have newborn hearing screening, she continues to work on providing follow up and habilitation to these infants so that they may listen and speak. According to Dr Bartlett “Kids give you the gift of sharing their lives with you in a way adults never would.”