Wolff honored for life-saving work in Haiti

Patricia B. Wolff, MD, examines a young Haitian patient on one of her many trips to the impoverished country.

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis has named Patricia Wolff, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, as the recipient of its 2013 International Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Wolff, MD, a professor of clinical pediatrics, is being honored along with Meds & Food for Kids, a nonprofit organization she founded in 2004 to battle child malnutrition in Haiti.

After Wolff first visited Haiti more than a decade ago, she began treating malnourished Haitian children with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), as she had seen her Washington University colleague Mark Manary, MD, do in sub-Saharan Africa.

Since then, Wolff’s work has led to the start-up of a factory in Haiti that produces and distributes RUTF — called Medika Mamba in Haiti. Her organization also has worked with Haitian farmers to help them improve their peanut yields. Those peanuts then are used to make Medika Mamba. Such efforts not only have saved many lives in Haiti but have created needed jobs.

The World Affairs Council honored her June 6 at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis.