Katie Plax, MD, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the Job Lewis Smith Award for outstanding community service from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The award, presented to Plax in October during the organization’s annual conference, recognized Plax for her work as co-founder and medical director of the community based health and social-services clinics called Supporting Positive Opportunities for Teens, more commonly known as The SPOT. The program has two locations: a free, drop-in center in St. Louis for those ages 13 to 24, and a school-based health center, The SPOT@Jennings, at Jennings High School in St. Louis County.
“The SPOT was developed to reduce barriers to a comprehensive range of services for St. Louis-area youth,” Plax said. Among the social and preventive services offered are medical and reproductive health care; screening and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted infections; mental health and psychiatric services. Since The SPOT’s founding in 2008, it has helped over 20,000 patients.
Plax is the Ferring Family Chair of Pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the School of Medicine. Additionally, she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care.