“He was the best.”
By Craig Monger
The city of Montgomery said farewell to a beloved physician and friend. Dr. Jeffrey Simon was a pediatrician in Montgomery who had become a staple of pediatric health in various establishments in the area. He had appeared on television on multiple occasions and had an “Ask the Doctor” segment on a local television station. He was loved and admired at his home office at Pediatric Healthcare LLC, an office he had been with since 1998, stepping down only when his health began to render his work untenable. He is survived by his wife and five children.
The days following the death of Simon have shown a continual outpouring of love from his family, friends, and members of the community. Since the news of his passing, hundreds upon hundreds have flocked to various social media outlets to remember the man that meant so much to them. His patients said Simon was a doctor who not only gave world-class medical care but who left an indissoluble mark on the lives of all those who met him.
“He was the best,” said Kimberly Shines, the mother of former patients. “My girls came to this practice until they couldn’t anymore. So sad!”
Kimberly Kraus, the mother of other former patients said, “He was our pediatrician and was a great, caring man. I will always remember the time and attention he gave to my kids and their health. My heart is literally hurting.”
For so many, Simon was a kind man who could ease the most stressful medical situations. He was someone who could always remember a name and could always find a way to make a patient smile. Not only was he an exceptionally skilled physician, but his genuine heart for his patients left an unerasable mark on the lives of all who sat on the white crackly paper that covered his exam table. Such a staple was he, that hundreds of parents gave stories of Simon’s lasting effect on their families.
“So so so many sweet memories of our sweet Dr. Simon,” said Paige Harrison. “He was such a special doctor. He went to bat for Miles [Harrison’s son] so many times when we needed appointments for specialists that couldn’t see us for months. Every time he saw my boys he’d say, ‘there come those Harrison giants’ … One time he was so impressed that Millie [daughter], a little toddler at the time, was eating meatballs made with liver as a snack. Every time he saw us from then on he called her his ‘little liver lover’ and he’d tickle her.”
While he was an uncommonly polite man, Simon was also renowned for being exceptionally tenacious in pursuing the continuing care of his patients. He was an advocate for individual healthcare choices, both for expecting mothers, and their children. For those mothers and fathers who had determined fewer medical or pharmaceutical options for themselves and their children, Dr. Simon was a patient and kind voice of support.
“He went to bat for me on the maternity floor, advocating for my ‘unusual and more natural approach,” said Trisha Pace. “I will be forever grateful.”
Simon believed in the individual’s right to determine their own standard of care and would work tirelessly with parents to develop a healthcare plan that could make everyone comfortable.
Many former patients would boast of him being more of a partner in healthcare than a doctor.
“It’s extremely rare to find a doctor who trusts parents’ knowledge and intuition as much as doctor Simon did,” said Harrison. “So many times he would say, ‘well, what do you think? What have you read about this? What is your opinion on XYZ’ and I never once felt like I couldn’t trust him completely.”