Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Olson named New Hampshire Pediatrician of the Year

May 28, 2010
Lebanon, NH

Kevin Donovan

Dr. Ardis Olson

Dr. Ardis Olson, a pediatrician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) as well as a researcher at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, has been named Pediatrician of the Year by the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Pediatrics Society. Describing Dr. Olson as a "champion for pediatricians, family practitioners and their practices," the Chapter called her "a pioneer committed to improving practice quality through enhanced communication."

At CHaD Dr. Olson's specialties include adolescent medicine, asthma, eating disorders, developmental disabilities, and primary care management of chronic illnesses, including spina bifida. At Norris Cotton Cancer Center, where Dr. Olson belongs to the Cancer Control Research Program, she has a special interest in helping children and teens avoid behaviors and habits that can increase the risk of cancer later in life. Dr. Olson's community-based "SunSafe" studies have led to new approaches to improve youth sun protection, including a SunSafe Primary Care Practice Manual. This research was disseminated nationally and is also a key part of the Cancer Center's community education and prevention efforts.

Since 1995 Dr. Olson has coordinated the Partners in Health Parent Partnership, which supports families with special health care needs. More recently, she has worked with Title V to train practices in family-centered medical home approaches to care coordination for chronic illnesses. She is currently working in both Maine and New Hampshire to enhance care for children with epilepsy. Her active pediatric clinical practice at DHMC in Lebanon, NH, provides primary care as well as special care for children with spina bifida.

Throughout her career, Dr. Olson has actively collaborated with pediatric providers and family practitioners in practice-based research. In 2002 she sought input from pediatricians regarding what practitioners thought were critical practice issues adversely impacting family interaction and health. Her resulting study focused on the incidence of parental depression, and the two-question screen she developed for the study, validated by several journal articles, continues to be used by pediatricians in New Hampshire. Dr. Olson has also pioneered the use of Palm Pilots as tools for information-gathering in physician-patient communications.

The pediatricians group also conferred its award of retired pediatrician of the year on Arthur Simington, M.D., who chaired the Department of Pediatrics at DHMC from 1990-2001, and served as director of clinical clerkships for Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) students.

Also, the pediatricians named Jose Montero, M.D., an adjunct assistant professor of community and family medicine at DMS, as New Hampshire public citizen of the year. Montero, currently the state's director of public health services and a former state epidemiologist, teaches an epidemiology course at Dartmouth.

As New Hampshire's only children's hospital, the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth provides an extended system of care that offers advanced pediatric service. CHaD is committed to providing outstanding, compassionate care for children and their families. ChaD's mission is to provide each child the best care, in the right place, at the right time, every time. CHaD's physician expertise provides primary, specialty, and tertiary care to the children of New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond, and its providers see children for everything from wellcare visits to the most complex childhood diseases. Learn more at

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth Medical School with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester and Keene, NH, and St. Johnsbury, VT, and at 11 partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. It is one of 40 centers nationwide to earn the National Cancer Institute's "Comprehensive Cancer Center" designation. Learn more about Norris Cotton Cancer Center research, programs, and clinical trials online at

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