Rizk wins Hershey Medical Center 2024 Physician of the Year

Dr. Elias Rizk, center, holds his 2024 Physician of the Year Award. He is joined by Dr. Robert Harbaugh, chief medical officer, Hershey Medical Center, left, and Dr. Kevin Cockroft, chair, Department of Neurosurgery, right.

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center leaders and employees named pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Elias Rizk the 2024 Physician of the Year as part of the National Doctors’ Day celebration.

May 9, 2024Penn State Health News

The annual observance recognizes the contributions physicians make to improve the lives of their patients and communities. Dr. Cristy French of the Department of Radiology and Dr. Sean Mahase of the Department of Radiation Oncology received honorable mentions.

Dr. Robert Harbaugh, chief medical officer of Hershey Medical Center, presented Rizk with the award, along with Dr. Kevin Cockroft, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. “You are one of the finest academic neurosurgeons I have met in a long career, Elias. Your commitment to the care of your patients as the center of all you do makes you worthy to receive this award,” Harbaugh said.

“Dr. Rizk truly loves what he does,” one nominator wrote. “He sees these sweet babies with some critical diagnoses, he cares for them and their families and speaks to them in terms they can understand. He also demonstrates teamwork and respect by acknowledging his support staff and displays respect, integrity, teamwork and excellence. I believe these values are a part of who he is.”

In celebration of National Doctors’ Day, physicians and employees were treated to free coffee and tea in all Penn State Health hospital cafeterias.

Penn State Health physician leaders expressed their appreciation to all health system physicians through a joint message. “Thank you for your continuous pursuit of excellence,” they stated. “Thank you for your willingness to change and adapt as our profession continues to do so. Thank you for your empathy, passion and compassion.”

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