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His official job title is board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist.

But you could also call him Doctor Dad.

For the past 11 years, Dr. Michael Russo has worked in the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Children’s Medical Center. During his years at Children’s, he’s helped numerous children with a slew of health issues—from allergic disorders to liver problems.

“I take care of children who have issues and concerns about their intestinal tracts, ranging from as simple as stomach pain or reflux to inflammatory bowel disease,” he said.

And while he might sound clinical when describing his work, his approach to working with children is much simpler. A father with three children under the age of 10, Dr. Russo is well-schooled on the emotional and physical needs of his pint-size patients and their parents.

“I certainly think being a parent has made me more compassionate and more empathetic. I can easily see this as being my child. My simple goal is to provide care for any child like I would want for my own kids.”

Children’s Medical Center, he said, follows the same mentality. “What sets the hospital apart from others is its complete dedication to and primary focus on children. “

To help maintain its exceptional service in the care of children, Children’s Medical Center relies on donations from groups like the Women’s Auxiliary.  Each year the organization hosts a Six Flags Family Night, which generates some of the $15 million dollars in funds that are gifted to the hospital. This year’s Family Night at Six Flags will be held on Friday, April 20th, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Tickets are $30 in advance and can be purchased at Tom Thumb stores or $56.99 (plus tax) at the gate on the night of the event. The event is open to the public.

Proceeds from the event are used to support various critical care needs at the hospital, such as capital projects and educational programs. Funds also go to equipment purchases, like life support machines and a surgical robotic arm and cameras among other things— to help ensure that doctors have the latest technology when working with their patients.

Having the latest high-tech medical tools allows doctors like Russo to provide the best care possible to children. But it’s a simple age-old adage that encourages the Dr. Dad most.

“I think if you follow the Golden Rule, and treat others the way you want to be treated, only good things can happen.”

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