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Kathryn L. Plax, MD

Kathryn (Katie) L. Plax, M.D., is assistantociate professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine. She is known as a tireless advocate for children’s health care, as a clinician in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Adolescent Center and for her outstanding community service.

Plax earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1989 and a medical degree from the University of Rochester in 1996. She completed an internship at Boston Children’s Hospital and a residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1999.

While at the University of Rochester, she became interested in advocacy and community services for children, winning and won the Robert Haggerty Prize in Pediatrics, the most distinguished award for the student graduating with pediatrics as a career. Following her residency, Plax was a pediatrician in the John C. Murphy Health Center in north St. Louis County, providing care to underserved children. She joined the Washington University Department of Pediatrics in 2000 to develop its advocacy program and as an attending physician in the Adolescent Center, which she now directs.

In her role at the School of Medicine, Plax is the medical adviser to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Advocacy and Outreach Department and is the founder of the pediatric residency training program called Pediatricians in Community.

Plax is heavily involved in advocacy for children’s health care in the St. Louis areaMissouri. During her prestigious Soros Fellowship, she organized and won a presumptive eligibility campaign in Missouri to provide 90,000 uninsured, income-eligible children with immediate access to the Medicaid and CHIP health-insurance program. Since then you can find her testifying in the capital, rallying    with community organizations and encouraging residents to write letters to political leaders to iensure access to health care and better health outcomes for children and adolescents. She also spearheaded training pediatric residents and members of the community to enroll children and families in the Medicaid/MC+ program. She launched the “These Cuts Won’t Heal” campaign designed to prevent cuts to the state’s Medicaid program that would impact children’s access to health care, and participated in rallies to protect Medicaid.

Published: 03/23/2008