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Dr. Zahi Kassas named Rural Health Practitioner of the Year by Ardent Solutions

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Beloved Wellsville pediatrican recognized for his devotion to the community

By Andrew Harris

Yesterday, in celebration of “Rural Health Day,” the New York State Association for Rural Health, in conjunction with Ardent Solutions announced that a Wellsville doctor was this years “Practitioner of the Year:”

“Help us celebrate the New York State Association for Rural Health’s Healthcare Provider of the Year award winner, Allegany County’s own Muhammed Sahi Kassas, M.D.! Thank you, Dr. Kassas, for your generosity and dedication to Allegany County children and families! #PowerofRural

With three young children as patients of Dr. Kassas, this award is no surprise. I’ve never met another human, doctor or otherwise, who exhibits such a love for his fellow man.

You may have had a similar experience, taking your child to the doctor for those first vaccinations and check-ups. Dr. Kassas has administered tens of thousands of tiny shots into tiny arms and with terrified parents standing by. When my first born visited Dr. Kassas at his office for of the first some “shots,” it was a stressful situation. After answering a dozen questions in the most calming manner possible it was time for “the jab.” The needle caused the scream that terrorizes the heart of a new parent and after the good doctor was finished he looked at me with a tear in his eye!!

That tear wasn’t regret or sadness. Ten years later and knowing Dr. Kassas much better it was the sign of a man with the emotional stature that few possess. He wasn’t sad about the injection, maybe a little sad to have caused the scream, but looking back it was a tear of joy. Dr. Kassas loves his job, loves his patients, and loves Wellsville. I’m quite sure his tear was from being overwhelmed with that love.

Many families have had a similar experience, and in emergency situation when emotions are much more acute. Dr. Kassas is a specialist in getting the whole family through a crisis, offering not just sound medical care, but in a calm and caring voice that is very easy to trust.

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Several community members reacted to this well-deserved award:

Kristen Crawford

“He is an amazing pediatrician, person, and friend. There is no end to what Dr. Kassas will do to make sure his patients receive the care that they deserve and more! Thank you for all of the years that you have dedicated. He is truly one in a million. ❤️

Elissa Burke

“The care and compassion Dr. Kassas has provided to the families in our region is absolutely unparalleled.”

Donna Retschle Stout

“Congratulations Dr Kassas! You deserve this for all you do for this community and your kids ❤️

Jenn Lanphier

“Congratulations Dr Kassas a well deserved award I am so thankful to have had you to take care of my daughter for the last 16 years❤️

Mary Fanton

“We miss Dr Kassas!! What a great man and doctor. His knowledge, dedication and compassion for his job are appreciated. Congratulations Dr. Kassas !”

THANK YOU DR. KASSAS FOR ALL THE LOVE, CARE, COMPASSION, AND FRIENDSHIP!!

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