Richard D. Wood Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is named for Richard D. Wood, Sr., who served as a member of CHOP’s Board of Trustees for 45 years.

When Children’s Hospital was incorporated in 1858 — three years after its founding — the name G.A. Wood was among the signers. Thus began a family tradition of service to the nation’s first children’s hospital.

Richard D. Wood, Sr., a descendant of G.A. Wood, became the first president of Children’s Hospital. He joined the board in 1950 and played a key role in the Hospital’s development into one of the finest pediatric medical centers in the nation and the world.

Long active in children’s healthcare on a national level, Wood served on the board of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, Inc. and created the association’s “Study to Determine the Uniqueness of Children’s Hospitals.”

In June 1989, Children’s Hospital’s new pediatric ambulatory care center was dedicated in honor of Richard D. Wood, Sr., and the facility has become known as the Wood Center.

Today, Richard D. Wood, Jr. is an Emeritus Trustee and carries forth the Wood family’s commitment to the health and well-being of children.

Each year, the Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus with significant medical and scientific achievements that distinguish the alumnus from his or her peers.

2020 Winner

Dr. Whitaker Linton A. Whitaker, MD, is professor of Plastic Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been at Penn since arriving for a fellowship in 1969. During that period, he served as Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 2004 and at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 1981 to 2001. At CHOP, he held the first two chairs in Plastic Surgery. He is now Surgeon Emeritus at Children’s Hospital and Honorary Surgeon at HUP.

Dr. Whitaker’s research has been in both basic and clinical areas of plastic surgery, concentrating on craniofacial reconstruction and aesthetic facial surgery. His dominant clinical interests are in cranio-orbital reconstructive surgery, in surgery of the aging face, and the contribution of the facial bone structure to the face. How growth and aging change fundamental facial form and affect one’s physical appearance and psychological outlook are his focus.

In 1972, Dr. Whitaker founded the Craniofacial Program at Penn and served as its director until 2000. This program involves a team of 17 medical specialists who are committed to the study and treatment of craniofacial-related conditions, and was the first such comprehensive program in the United States.

In 1987, Dr. Whitaker established the University of Pennsylvania Center for Human Appearance. This was the first multidisciplinary center dedicated to research, education and treatment of appearance-related disorders at a major academic medical center in the United States. Treatment programs in Eastern Europe, China and Africa have been partially funded by the center. Six surgical, medical and psychological specialists comprise the center. Dr. Whitaker continues as its director, as he has since its inception.

At CHOP, he helped lead Face to Face: The Craniofacial Program Portrait Project, an innovative collaboration between CHOP’s Craniofacial Program and Studio Incamminati that was the first program of its kind in the United States. The program assessed the experiences of children and adolescents with craniofacial problems by using a novel intervention — sitting for a portrait. It also scientifically documented the impact of the psychosocial functioning of the participants. Dr. Whitaker holds 11 honorary memberships in medical societies, including eight in foreign countries. Several professional and scientific organizations have honored him with special citations. These include, among others, the Tessier Medal from the International Society of Craniofacial Surgery. His academic activities include: more than 227 papers, author or co-author of six plastic surgery books, and more than 300 invited lectures. He has had primary responsibility for training 45 residents and 30 craniofacial surgeons.

Dr. Whitaker is a graduate of the University of Texas (Austin) and Tulane Medical School. After an internship at the Montreal General Hospital (McGill) Canada, he completed a general surgery residency at the Dartmouth Affiliated Hospitals in Hanover, N.H., and a plastic surgery residency at Penn.

Past Awardees

2019 — N. Scott Adzick, MD
2018 — Alan Cohen, MD
2017 — James A. Katowitz, MD
2016 — Stephen Ludwig, MD
2015 — Elaine H. Zackai, MD
2014 — Robert A. Zimmerman, MD
2013 — James O’Neill, MD
2012 — Anna Meadows, MD
2011 — Guilio D’Angio, MD
2010 — Shirley Bonnem
2009 — Walter J. Gamble, MD
2008 — Lucy B. Rorke-Adams, MD
2007 — Balu H. Athreya, MD
2006 — John J. Downes, MD
2005 — Gary R. Fleisher, MD
2004 — James A. Stockman III, MD
2003 — Audrey E. Evans, MD
2002 — C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD
2001 — Stanley A. Plotkin, MD
2000 — Patrick S. Pasquariello, Jr., MD
1999 — No award granted
1998 — No award granted
1997 — Louise Schnaufer, MD
1996 — Sidney Friedman, MD
1995 — Patricia F. Borns, MD
1994 — No award granted
1993 — Leonard Bachman, MD
1992 — Robert Kaye, M
1991 — Albert W. Kitts, MD
1990 — Dale G. Johnson, MD
1989 — T. F. McNair Scott, MD
1988 — Richard D. Wood, Sr.


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