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Olean General Hospital

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Olean General Hospital Foundation honors Drs. Hilal, Kothari

Posted on: 05/03/2019

The Olean General Hospital Foundation honored two long time cardiologists who are retiring this year during a recent dinner at the Bartlett Country Club.

For 35 years, Ahmad Hilal, MD, and Ashok Kothari, MD, cared for countless patients in the region and they leave a legacy of how cardiac patients are treated and cared for.

Dr. Hilal came to Olean in 1980. Dr. Kothari followed in 1984 after meeting Dr. Hilal at a conference in Philadelphia. They worked together with an immeasurable work ethic, often seeing 40 patients per day, sharing call every other night and traveling from their homes at all hours of the day and night to see patients at the hospital long before emergency doctors or hospitalists. They would often ride in the ambulance to make sure patients were stable while being transported.

At that time, cardiac technology was still evolving and they were known to purchase new equipment and train themselves on its use to help treat their patients.

They initiated the “It’s your heart club” for patients before support groups or public education were commonplace. The group meetings included national speakers and former patients who would share their experiences. In addition to educating the public, they took pride in teaching other medical providers at OGH, including EMTs, nurses and other physicians.

Dr. Hilal retired in 2002 but was called upon by Timothy J. Finan, president and chief executive officer, to start a Chest Pain Center in 2009 with Dr. Kothari and other hospital staff. Dr. Hilal became its director and led it to earn accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

The Hilals are also well known for their annual event honoring nurses. For 17 years, Dr. Hilal and his wife, Dr. Naheed Hilal, have sponsored the annual Hilal Nursing Recognition which is held during Nurses’ Week and honors and celebrates the importance of nurses in delivering quality healthcare.

“Dr. Hilal and Dr. Kothari are amazing and talented physicians. They have sacrificed family time to care for the many patients in our community who needed them,” Finan said. “They have helped recruit doctors and nurses to our community. They have educated their peers and brought state-of-the-art cardiology care to our patients. We are forever in their debt for their countless contributions to Olean General Hospital and our community they have called home for 35 years.”

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