Dennehy receives 2017 Hamolsky Outstanding Physician Award

PROVIDENCE – Dr. Penelope Dennehy, director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases division at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, can count the respect of her colleagues a certainty after receiving the 2017 Hamolsky Outstanding Physician Award from the medical staff at Rhode Island Hospital.

The Hamolsky Outstanding Physician Award is presented each year to a physician who has made exceptional contributions to medicine, medical education and research, has demonstrated leadership and has been an exemplary role model.

Dennehy has advocated for causes ranging from childhood immunization to participation in clinical trials throughout her 35-year career. Dennehy, a Barrington resident, is also a professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her primary areas of research include the study of viral gastroenteritis and viral respiratory diseases.

A past president of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and past secretary of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Dennehy has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, written book chapters and presented numerous abstracts at both national and international venues. She is currently a board member and secretary for the World Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

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She earned her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at Rhode Island Hospital. She completed a combined pediatric-medical infectious diseases fellowship at Children’s Hospital Medical Center-Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. In 1982, she joined the faculty at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, where she served as founder and director of the diagnostic virology laboratory and attended on both the adult and pediatric infectious diseases services.

The Hamolsky Outstanding Physician Award honors Dr. Milton Hamolsky, who was a leader, pioneer in education and role model in patient care. An endocrinologist, Hamolsky came to Rhode Island Hospital in 1963 and served as the first full-time physician-in-chief. He was also the retired chief administrative officer of the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline and a pioneer of medical education in Rhode Island.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at