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‘He was my doctor’

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm Dr. David McConnell (in the snazzy tie) chats with guests at his retirement party on Friday at the Conewango Club. McConnell is officially starting a new chapter in his life on Dec. 31 after a 37-year career as a pediatrician at Warren Pediatric Associates.

Odds are, if you mention the name “Dr. McConnell” at any adult gathering in the Warren area, more than a few people will call out, “He was my doctor.”

David McConnell has recently been reminded of just how many children he has cared for in the past 37 years. As he’s been telling his patients that he is leaving Warren Pediatric Associates, he’s received a lot of thank you’s, and also been told that he also took care of many of the parents of his current patients.

That “phenomenon” even occurs within the workplace. Marjie Stevenson has worked with Dr. McConnell for 22 years. “I came here as a patient when I was a child, and he has treated both my kids since birth,” she said.

That care extends well beyond office hours.

“I will never forget when he met me at the office one snowy Christmas morning at the crack of dawn to examine my sick two-year-old son,” Stevenson said. “His compassion for the children and teens of this community will certainly be missed.”

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm A photo of Dr. David McConnell sits at a table to greet guests attending his retirement party on Friday. McConnell is starting a new chapter in his life on Dec. 31 after a 37-year career as a pediatrician at Warren Pediatric Associates.

McConnell said he’s grateful for the many “good relationships” he has made through the years.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing all the kids, helping as they grow and seeing them through illness,” he said.

His colleagues echoed his sentiments.

“For the last 3-1/2 decades Dr. McConnell has been that great pediatrician for the families of Warren County and northwest Pa.,” said his associate, Dr. Sunny Thomas, who joined the practice in 1993. “He has built a relationship with the families in the community where they could always call the pediatrician directly with a concern or question. Sometimes it is to ask for a dose of Tylenol.”

“Dr. McConnell has been a tremendous asset to the Warren and surrounding communities for the past 37 years,” said Dr. Timothy Coombs, who joined the practice in 1994. “He is not only an excellent pediatrician but also a kind and caring person.”

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm Staff of Warren Pediatric Associates gathers to celebrate Dr. David McConnell’s (in back) retirement after a 37-year career as a pediatrician.

McConnell’s colleagues also expressed their appreciation of his leadership and congeniality in the workplace.

“He has been a mentor and friend to me for the past 25 years,” Coombs said.

“For me, he is a friend, mentor, and guide,” Thomas said. “For the staff of Warren Pediatrics, he has been a great ‘boss.'”

“It has been an exceptional place to work,” Stevenson said. “He has treated his employees with great kindness and generosity.”

After 37 years of interacting with children, one might suspect McConnell might feel a little out of place in retirement, but that’s not necessarily the case. He looks forward to moving south to be closer to his grandsons.

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