January 20, 2019

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Three Doctors, A Common Interest: Pediatrics

Dr. KerriAnn Mahon, Pediatrician, ACMC-Willmar

Dr. KerriAnn Mahon, Pediatrician, ACMC-Willmar

From reading and cooking to a love of the outdoors and a family with a musical background to their styles of care and even the reasons they became pediatricians, they’re about as different as you might expect. But ACMC-Willmar’s pediatricians have one thing in common: a love of serving children and their families.

Drs. KerriAnn Mahon, Timothy Swanson and Michael Hodapp agree that their differences—their pastimes, personalities and reasons for entering the medical field to become pediatricians—are what make their department function so well together.

Dr. Swanson began working as a pediatrician at ACMC-Willmar in 1985, and Dr. M. Hodapp joined ACMC just a year later. The newest of the group, Dr. Mahon was a great addition to the team in 2011.

It’s their love of kids that make them such great pediatricians, but their reasons for entering the pediatric field go far and beyond that.

What Led You to Become a Pediatrician?

“I decided to become a pediatrician because I believed, and still do, that children and families need good advocates for pediatric health. I wanted to know as much as possible about children’s health and medicine in order to make the best diagnosis and decisions possible to solve children’s healthcare issues,” Dr. Swanson said. “And I really enjoy working with children.”

For Dr. Hodapp, ultimately it was his father, Dr. Robert V. Hodapp—a pediatrician and a founding physician at ACMC—who shaped his decision to become a pediatrician.

Dr. Mahon took an interest in becoming a pediatrician when she was young—though she also has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in athletic training. Her family tells her she’s been talking about being a pediatrician since she was about three. She credits her pediatrician growing up for encouraging her curiosity. Becoming a pediatrician came naturally to her: science has always been a favorite subject and every job she’s ever held had something to do with children.

Though each of our physicians has their own “style” when it comes to their patients, all stress the importance of involving

Dr. Timothy Swanson

Dr. Timothy Swanson
Pediatrician, ACMC-Willmar

the whole family in the health of their children.

“I like talking with parents about how they’re doing, trying to problem solve about the things in their lives that may be impacting their children,” said Dr. Mahon. She particularly enjoys caring for infants and promoting healthy social and emotional development.

Dr. Swanson loves being able to visit with his patients and their families to make a thorough diagnosis, engaging the family as a major part of their child’s healthcare team.

And Dr. Hodapp gets the most satisfaction when he’s caring for acute care and sick children, knowing that he can make a difference in his patient’s—and their families’—lives.

And Willmar has been an ideal community for each in their own ways.

“Being a part of the Willmar community is great in so many ways. You really get to know your patients and their families individually. Most patients will continue to see you until they are 18. It’s an honor to be able to be a part of their lives and watch them grow up,” said Dr. Hodapp.

Dr. Swanson adds, “I am thankful for the high quality level of patient care/treatment in the pediatric department and ACMC as a whole. There are many specialties here, and physicians are able to work as a team—no matter their specialty—for the best interest of the patients.”

Dr. Michael Hodapp, Pediatrician, ACMC-Willmar

Dr. Michael Hodapp, Pediatrician, ACMC-Willmar

Having served the community for nearly 30 years, both Dr. Hodapp and Dr. Swanson are glad to see younger providers, like Dr. Mahon, join the ACMC family.

“Willmar and ACMC have so much to offer. The medical field and how we practice medicine has certainly evolved during my time as a pediatrician, but ACMC has always been and continues to be family-friendly,” said Dr. Hodapp. “Willmar itself has so much going on from great schools to area lakes and the different activities available to young families. It’s really exciting to know we have a great opportunity to bring in younger pediatric providers to complement the pediatric coverage in our community.”

Dr. Swanson believes that “it’s a great place to work and enjoy life both in and out of the office.”

Willmar is a great place for the outdoor enthusiast. Dr. Swanson and Dr. Hodapp have a great love of and respect for the outdoors. Dr. Mahon does in her own way as well—she enjoys driving her convertible with the top down when the weather is nice and loves taking road trips to see the great state parks of Minnesota.

Despite the different personalities and interests of this team, one thing is for sure. These beloved pediatricians work together to give our communities’ children—and their families—a healthy tomorrow.