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.

2018 Winner

Alan Cohen, MD Alan R. Cohen, MD, came to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for his internship in 1972 and has been a physician leader for decades. Through his time as chief resident, fellow, attending hematologist, Chief of the Division of Hematology (1992 – 2001) and Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics (2001 – 2013), he has shown leadership at every turn. Under his guidance, the Department of Pediatrics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania ascended to U.S. News & World Report’s No. 1 ranking of academic pediatric departments.CHOP has held that position for six straight years and been ranked among the leading children’s hospitals for 15 consecutive years.

Dr. Cohen now serves as medical adviser to the Chief Executive Officer, with a special interest in the patient-family experience. Additionally, Dr. Cohen continues to be actively involved in the clinical care of patients with blood disorders and education of students, residents and fellows.

Nationally, he served as chair of the board of directors of the American Board of Pediatrics and President of the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs.

His most lasting impact at Children’s Hospital may be the inception of the Chair’s Initiatives, internal competitive grants that give clinicians and researchers with breakthrough ideas to improve care, a means to put their ideas into action. The Chair’s Initiatives were launched 2004 and, since then, grantees have addressed a wide array of healthcare challenges, everything from developing a system to reduce missed appointments to drafting guidelines that improve the use of anticoagulant therapy and creating a web portal to help families manage their child’s chronic disease. Some Chair’s Initiatives have generated new centers or programs, such as the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program, the Center for Bone Health and Minds Matter: Concussion Care for Kids.

Past Awardees

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.


Next Steps