An article Friday’s edition of The Era spoke to the departure of Dr. M. Javed Akhtar, an ear. nose and throat specialist with Bradford Regional Medical Center and the Foothills Medical Group.

Truly, Dr. Akhtar is an amazing physician who dedicated 36 years to patients in the community. Over his career he has exemplified the words “service”, “dedication” and “excellence” in the care of thousands who came to him for care.

His retirement from his practice was part of a planned transition between the hospital and Dr. Akhtar earlier this spring, which was unfortunately interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We certainly feel badly that circumstances related to the pandemic disrupted the transition and the opportunity to properly thank Dr. Akhtar for his years of service.

We will truly miss Dr. Akhtar and we deeply appreciate his endorsement of Dr. Paul Tinsley, ENT specialist with Olean General Hospital and Foothills Medical Group, who will soon be seeing patients in Bradford.

“Dr. Tinsley is an experienced and highly-qualified specialist who will do a wonderful job in caring for patients in Bradford,” Dr. Akhtar told us.

Within the Era article, Dr. Akhtar expressed his thanks to the community he has called home since 1982. On behalf of BRMC and Olean General, we offer our sincere gratitude and thanks to Dr. Akhtar for choosing to come to Bradford.

Actions define the person and over the decades Dr. Akhtar has been one of BRMC’s most supportive physicians. He received the Physician Award for Medical and Philanthropic Excellence at the Bradford Hospital Foundation’s Spring Swing in 2012. He is past president of the BRMC medical staff, McKean County Medical Society and Bradford Rotary.

Through Rotary, he championed efforts to raise important funds to eradicate polio, a disease still prevalent in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. His Rotarian efforts to raise support for polio brought important international attention to this disease culminating in a Regional Service Award for Polio Eradication in 2010-2011 through Rotary International for Dr. Akhtar

For more than three decades, Dr. Akhtar and his wife, Shahnaz, have made Bradford their home and life commitment. Their belief in the needs of all has served us both here locally and throughout the country and the world. The Akhtars have embraced humanity and have reached out wherever they are to serve. Bradford has been honored to have them as part of the community.

Thank you, once again, Dr. Akhtar. We wish you and Shahanz all the best in your new life in Virginia.

(Jeff Zewe is president and CEO of Upper Allegheny Health System.)