Award to be presented at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 4, 2014
The Ethical Society of St. Louis has named Dr. Patricia Wolff and Meds & Food for Kids (MFK), an organization dedicated to saving the lives of Haiti’s malnourished children and other nutritionally vulnerable people, as the Society’s 2014 recipient of the Ethical Humanist of the Year Award.
Wolff and Meds & Food for Kids will be honored at a ceremony and reception set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 4, at the Ethical Society, 9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63117. The event is free and open to all.
The award, established in 1975 by James S. McDonnell in honor of James F. Hornback (who was the Society’s Leader at the time), recognizes an individual or organization that “has provided courageous and dedicated service to maintaining the rights and dignity of their fellow human beings in some aspect of life – religious, social, political, economic, medical, educational, ecological, recreational, and artistic.” Previous winners have included Dr. L. Lewis Wall, Joan Lipkin, Joan Suarez, Bill Ramsey, the International Institute of St. Louis, and Harriet Woods.
In 2003, Dr. Wolff, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Washington University’s School of Medicine, founded Meds & Food for Kids in response to her frustration of watching malnourished Haitian children needlessly die. After visiting RUTF pioneer and Washington University colleague Dr. Mark Manary in Malawi, Dr. Wolff was inspired to transfer the best-practice therapy of RUTF to Haiti in 2003. MFK currently produces Medika Mamba (“peanut butter medicine” in creole) for acute malnutrition, Plumpy’sup/Mamba Djanm for moderate malnutrition and Vita Mamba, a nutritious school snack.
In August, 2013 MFK completed construction of their state-of-the art factory located in Cap Haitien, Haiti. The completion of the factory in Haiti has enabled MFK to save more lives through increased production. In addition, MFK is impacting Haiti’s economy by employing and training more Haitian workers and using even more Haitian raw materials.
To date, MFK has saved the lives of more than 120,000 severely malnourished children.
The MFK factory currently employs 48 local staff members and the MFK agriculture team has trained over 1,300 farmers, teaching them to grow more (and better) peanuts.
Dr. Wolff has both BA and MD degrees from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and worked for the Indian Health Service in South Dakota following her graduation. After a residency at Washington University Medical School, she worked as a pediatrician for 35 years in the St. Louis area and became President of Forest Park Pediatrics until the summer of 2011, when she resigned to devote her time to Meds and Food for Kids.
Dr. Wolff has been listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Doctors list since 2002. She currently splits her time between St. Louis and Haiti.
The Ethical Society of St. Louis, established in 1886, is a non-theistic, Humanist religious congregation. The Society is a member of the Ethical Culture movement, established in New York in 1876 by Felix Adler. This year the Society is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of its current building located at 9001 Clayton Road in Ladue.