Last Updated: Oct 2, 2018
FOR RELEASE: Oct. 9, 2018
Jeff Wirick, Pennsylvania Medical Society
(HARRISBURG, Pa. – 10/9/18) Johanna Kelly, MD, a pediatrician from Reading, Pa., has been named October’s Everyday Hero by the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED).
PAMED’s Everyday Hero Award is designed to showcase talented physicians who probably don’t view themselves as heroes, but to patients and colleagues they are. The award is a monthly member honor.
Before entering medical school, Dr. Kelly spent a year working as a medical assistant at a bilingual inner-city health center in Washington, D.C.
“I saw how the doctors working there did not just see patients, they became involved in their community exploring the systems and structures that can keep people unhealthy,” she said.
Dr. Kelly, a graduate of Notre Dame University and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, has used those experiences since arriving in Reading in 2000.
She volunteers with Opportunity House, a Reading-based organization that provides emergency shelter, childcare, and veterans’ support. In addition to serving as a past board chair at Opportunity House, Dr. Kelly also helped start the Children's Alliance Center – an umbrella organization within Opportunity House – to meet the needs of children who have been victimized by sexual abuse.
Her practice, Reading Pediatrics, has also found ways to integrate itself into the fabric of the community. When the practice found that it was often challenging to connect patients with mental health services, they worked to find a way to offer that care in-house.
“Mental health issues overlap with physical health issues,” Dr. Kelly said. “Our practice also has a full mental health program, and so I see kids with mental health issues and work closely with therapists, a mental health nurse practitioner, a child psychiatrist, and a case manager.”
She said she’s seen how much these services can ease the burden on families, helping them avoid ER visits in times of crisis and offering them a support network.
Dr. Kelly credits her husband Dan, daughter Shea, and son Danny for being her personal everyday heroes. For a decade, her husband, now an elementary school teacher, made sacrifices in his career to stay home and care for their children. And, over the years, her family opted to delay things like evening meals when she was at the office so that they could spend time together as a family.
Dr. Kelly will formally be presented the Everyday Hero Award by PAMED at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 9. A brief ceremony will be held at Reading Pediatrics located at 40 Berkshire Court, Wyomissing, Pa.
About Pennsylvania Medical Society
The Pennsylvania Medical Society helps its 20,000 physician and medical student members return to the art of medicine through advocacy and education. To learn more, visit www.pamedsoc.org or follow us on Twitter at @PAMEDSociety.