CINCINNATI — One of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital long-tenured doctors is celebrating her retirement after 46 years of dedicated service to children and their families. 

What You Need To Know

  • Dr. Uma Kotagal is retiring from Cincinnati Children’s after 46 years

  • The City of Cincinnati honored her with a proclamation

  • June 30, 2021 was declared “Dr. Uma Kotagal Day”

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Senior Fellow Dr. Uma Kotagal shared a special moment with her daughter, Meera, on her retirement day. 

“Well this is a shock,” Uma said looking at her proclamation. 

For nearly five decades of dedicated service to children and their families in Cincinnati, the city named June 30, 2021, “Dr. Uma Kotagal Day.”

“It’s definitely overwhelming,” Uma said. “There’s no doubt that it’s a time of a great combination of a lot of things — thinking back, thinking forward.”

From starting as a researcher to becoming director of health policy and clinical effectiveness and more — Uma has worn a lot of hats during her career in medicine. 

“It’s been an exciting journey because each time when I turn the bend there’s been an opportunity that’s important and urgent and necessary to make things better,” Uma said. 

Her daughter, Meera, is an assistant professor in pediatric surgery at Cincinnati Children’s who said her mom is her hero. 

“She’s pretty amazing,” Meera said. “She’s just changed the world by what she’s done.”

Uma Kotagal has earned international recognition and awards for her efforts to pioneer quality improvement in children’s hospitals. 

But now that she had a day named after her in the city she’s lived in for so long, she was nearly speechless because she never imagined it would happen. 

“It’s like out of the blue,” Uma said. “It’s a crazy thing.” 

While she’s retiring, her life's work isn’t over. She plans to stay active with the hospital as a professor emeritus.

“I’m hoping to hang on for a little bit longer,” Uma said. “To continue to be a little bit of a pain in the neck. To keep pushing the boundaries.” 

But she is also looking forward to traveling and spending more time with her family. 

“It’s been a fantastic journey,” she said.