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Patricia B. Wolff, MD

Patricia B. Wolff, MD

Patricia B. Wolff, MD, HS ’77, is a professor emerita of clinical pediatrics at Washington University. Wolff is a superb community pediatrician whose influence and impact is felt far beyond St. Louis.

After earning her medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School, Wolff spent the early years of her career serving the needs of the Native American population through the Indian Health Service in South Dakota. In 1979, she became part-time pediatric faculty in the family practice residency program at Lutheran Medical Center in St. Louis. During her career she has also been in private practice, a part-time house pediatrician at DePaul Hospital, and a part-time emergency room pediatrician at St. Anthony’s Hospital. She has also served on the Washington University Medical School admissions committee.

Wolff then turned her attention to pediatric health crises outside the United States. As she began making frequent medical mission trips to Haiti in 1991, she observed that malnutrition weakened many children’s ability to fight disease. In response, Wolff asked Dr. Mark Manary in 2003 for advice about transferring the peanut butter product that he pioneered i nMalawi to Haiti. He responded with the recipe and a commitment from Nutriset to provide their patented mix of vitamins and minerals for one year. In 2004, Wolff founded the nonprofit Meds & Foods for Kids.

Meds & Foods for Kids produces the ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), pioneered by Dr. Manary and recognized by the World Health Organization as »the world’s best» treatment for childhood malnutrition, in Haiti. Made of peanuts, sugar, oil, milk powder, vitamins and minerals, it is called Medika Mamba (»Peanut Butter Medicine» in Creole).

Since the summer of 2006, Wolff has traveled to Haiti on a regular cycle: three weeks in Haiti to oversee factory operations, then three weeks in St. Louis to tend to her busy pediatric workload.

With the recent earthquake, hurricane, and cholera outbreak in Haiti, her work has been more arduous and even more vital to the poorest population in the western hemisphere. In June 2011, Wolff announced that she would leave her practice at Forest Park Pediatrics in St. Louis to focus her attention entirely on Haiti.

The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Resident/Fellow Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Wolff.

Published: 04/28/2012