As a pediatric surgeon at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, Donavon Hess, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., treats some of the most challenging conditions that children face. A typical work day includes doing operations in the morning, spending the afternoon with patients in the clinic, and conducting research on pediatric surgical interventions in between.
But for Hess, the most rewarding aspects of the work are seeing the kids he treats heal and helping their families get through a difficult time. He was nominated for the Masonic Mission Award because of the warmth and calm he exudes. His nominator writes:
“The first time my child met Dr. Hess was right after surgery and my shy, anxious little boy stretched out his hand to shake Dr. Hess’s hand. He had never done that before, never interacted much with strangers, preferring to hide behind me. But with Dr. Hess he immediately formed a bond. There is something about Dr. Hess that babies feel and understand, something I have never seen in anyone else. I have two boys and Dr. Hess has saved both of them. He has a unique gift beyond his medical skills to bond with children, ease their fear and pain, and help their parents along the way. In the real world, super heros don’t wear capes, they wear surgical scrubs and bring hope to those around them.”