We are pleased to announce that Dr. Todd Vedder, Immediate Past Chair and Board Member of our Coalition has been awarded the Naples Daily NewsHealthcare Heroes – Physician’s Excellence in Healthcare Award!
Congratulations and thank you so much for everything that you do daily for the children in Collier County!
Here is what the person who nominated him wrote:
“If we can protect our children from tragedy and help children make healthier choices, we have done a great deal toward insuring these children will indeed fulfill their developmental potential and become the next generation of great individuals.” Those words were written by Todd Vedder, M.D., a committed and caring local pediatrician. It is a mission he lives by which is why is a physician of excellence!
Dr. Vedder is dedicated not only to the parents and children in his pediatrics practice, but he is also committed to improving the health and wellness of every child in our community. As chair of the Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County, Dr. Vedder has worked tirelessly to assure children have an opportunity to thrive and live healthy lives. Historically passionate about making the world safer and healthier for children, in 2010, Dr. Vedder helped create the coalition and took the lead as chair of the board. He is no ordinary board member! He has been the lead voice and manpower behind several initiatives: drowning prevention with education and pro-active swim lessons and safety program; preventing deaths from co-sleeping or sudden infant death syndrome; addressing local inactivity and obesity epidemics which significantly threaten the quality of health and life spans of our youngest generation and promotion of breastfeeding.
A typical day for Dr. Vedder involves early morning rounds at the hospital, as well as crafting emails encouraging members of one of his coalition subcommittees to continue the good work and to inspire them to do more. He often has early meetings before work such as the School Health Advisory Committee where he weighs in school wellness and nutrition policies. On another morning he is meeting with a potential sponsor for one of his initiatives. His passion for children’s health and safety has motivated many others to join him on his mission. After a tragic drowning at Sugden Park this past June, Dr. Vedder, with the support of local marinas, the Coast Guard and Collier County Parks and Recreation, put into motion a free life jacket loaner program in 13 locations in Collier County, including public access beaches and at Sugden Park. The program is entitled “Kids don’t float, life jackets do”.
From 8 am to 6 pm he sees patients in his office where he is much more than a typical doctor. Dr. Vedder treats every child as if he/she is his own. He coaches parents as to how they can incorporate 95210 healthy guidelines in to their family life. He teaches without preaching. His recommendations are practical and memorable for the child, as well as his/her parents. He tells one little boy, “your bones grow at night, so if you want to play basketball, you need to go to bed on time and get your sleep”. To a parent and child he explains how if animals drink water and milk to be strong and healthy, we should too; there is no need to drink sugary beverages. During each office visit, he strives to instill a few words of parting wisdom that will optimize that child’s chances of staying safe and living well.
At lunch time, he is often zips off to a coalition subcommittee meeting or follows up with emails or phone calls to other physicians and health care practitioners who he is recruiting to add their voice to one of his initiatives for children’s health and safety. He has been a driving force behind breastfeeding being the infant feeding of first choice over formula at the hospital.
Later he visits his patients who are in the hospital to check on their progress and give them hope they will feel better soon. A parent of one of Dr. Vedder’s newly born patients relayed a story describing how upon realizing, during an office visit, the infant was seriously ill, Dr. Vedder personally drove the parent and child to the hospital and stayed until the baby was admitted. “He realized I did not have anyone to call, so he drove me and made sure both the baby and I were okay. Compassion like that is priceless,” praised the parent.
Some evenings and weekends, when not making rounds at the hospital, you will find him at one of his wellness events, such as the “Kids on the Go” fitness program or a gala, golf tournament or fun run aimed at generating money to continue to execute the programs that make a difference.
With a schedule of dedication as described above, much credit also belongs to his wife, Beth for her support to her husband, a true champion of children…. not just his own, his patients, and the children in Collier County, but every child, any where. This mission is the heart and soul of what drives this stellar human being and physician of excellence in health care!