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Alper Award Nominees

Pahola Rodriguez, MD

Pahola Rodriguez, MD

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine – Chattanooga, in partnership with Erlanger, is proud to announce the nomination of Pahola Rodriguez, MD, for the 2024 Alper Humanitarian Award. Dr. Rodriguez is the nominee representing the department of pediatrics.

She is deeply committed to the mission of our resident continuity clinic, striving to function as the primary care physician for her patient cohort. She is a fierce advocate for all of her patients but especially for the vulnerable families of children with chronic, complex diseases. She strives to provide equitable care for those of limited English proficiency.

Her communication skills with children and families are superior. She always makes sure the child and family have a good understanding of any acute or chronic disease processes and what treatment will be given. To ensure caregiver understanding, she will print a picture of an over-the-counter product or write out exactly how the parents are to give a medication. Going above and beyond, she has been known to draw pictures for non-literate families to help them understand medication instructions.

Dr. Rodriguez is professional, courteous and respectful with families, no matter how stressful or tense interactions may be. She is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished by one person who cares deeply and is willing to act to improve the lives of others in small and large ways.

“There are many residents who are smart and many with good clinical skills but she has both of these plus she always remembers the whole point of it all – the patient,” one faculty member said of Dr. Rodriguez.

The university, in conjunction with the Erlanger Foundation, Erlanger, and an endowment from the family of the late Dr. Harold Alper, has established the yearly ceremony and grand rounds keynote address. The Alper Humanitarian Award is presented to a graduating resident or fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine – Chattanooga who has consistently demonstrated during residency or fellowship the humanistic qualities for which the late Dr. Alper was known: integrity, compassion, and community service.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Rodriguez on her nomination for the Alper Humanitarian Award.

Click here to learn more and support your nominee.