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Dr. J. Patrick Flanagan named 2021 Summa Health Distinguished Physician

Longtime Summa health physician, mentor and teacher

J. Patrick Flanagan, M.D., a revered mentor, teacher and respected physician in the field of orthopedics, was honored with the 2021 Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award.

The health system’s highest physician honor was announced August 19, 2021, by Cliff Deveny, M.D., Summa Health president and chief executive officer, at the Summa Society Celebration — the health system’s annual donor recognition event — on the Stark State College Akron Campus.

“Through his achievements as a physician, educator and leader, Dr. Flanagan has touched thousands of lives in our community during his 50-year career at Summa Health,” said Dr. Deveny. “We are so grateful for his service.”

Among his many leadership roles, Dr. Flanagan served as chair of the Summa Health Department of Orthopedics for 32 years before retiring in 2006. He has helped patients in the Summa Health Wound Care Center for the last 13 years.

Under his leadership, the Summa Health Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program, which he called the heart and soul of his professional life, grew into a nationally acclaimed program.

Department of Orthopedics Chair Scott Weiner, M.D., who trained under Dr. Flanagan, described his mentor as the backbone of the residency program. “He ran the residency program like a family, emphasizing training the whole person,” said Dr. Weiner. “That’s why we call him ‘Father Flanagan.’ That’s how we turn out great surgeons – and great people.”

Through his transformation of the orthopedic residency program, Dr. Flanagan created an invaluable asset for future orthopedic surgeons and gave a lasting gift to the patients and families of the Akron region.

Dr. Flanagan graduated from Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed his residency and internship at Summa Health and Akron Children’s Hospital. In addition to Summa Health, he has held leadership positions at Northeast Ohio Medical University and the Ohio Orthopaedic Society. He has published numerous articles on orthopedics, authored numerous scientific papers and presented at scientific meetings across the country. Dr. Flanagan is now Emeritus Professor of Clinical Orthopedics at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Dr. Flanagan was joined by his wife, Denise, and surrounded by other family members, friends and colleagues as he received the Distinguished Physician Award on August 19.

Previous honorees of the Distinguished Physician Award are Jay Williamson, M.D., (2019); Ernest R. Estep, M.D. (2018); Gary B. Williams, M.D. (2017); Robert Liebelt, Ph.D., M.D. (2016); and the late James Tan, M.D. (2015).


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