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2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient – Gary Pettett, MD

Dr. Gary Pettett was honored with the KCMS Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Kansas City Medical Society Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 14th, at the WWI Museum and Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.

Congratulations on your Award, Dr. Pettett!

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Dr. Pettett is a retired board-certified Pediatrician and sub-board certified Neonatologist. He and his wife, Virginia, split their time between their homes in Eagle, ID and Tucson, AZ. Virginia (Ginny) is a retired foreign language teacher (French/Spanish), career counselor and genealogist. They have two children. Daughter Lisa is an electrical engineer with Hewlett-Packard. Lisa, her husband Paul and sons Spencer and Marcus live in Boise, Idaho. Their son Scott, his wife Wendi and daughter Piper live in Sandy,Utah where Scott works as a Public Relations representative at the University of Utah.

Dr. Pettett is a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (B.S., 1967), Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis (M.D., 1971), and the University of Northern Colorado (M.B.A., 1977). He was an active member of Beta Theta Pi (undergraduate) and Phi Rho Sigma (medical) fraternities. During his third and fourth years of medical school, Dr. Pettett participated in the U.S. Army Early Commissioning and Senior Medical programs. He completed his post-graduate internship and residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Neonatal Medicine at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver. Subsequent assignments took Dr. Pettett to Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, CA, Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI, Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA, and finally to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Washington, DC. Dr. Pettett served as the Director of the Neonatal Fellowship Program and was Vice-Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at USUHS. He retired from military service in the rank of Colonel in 1993.

Following his military retirement, Dr. Pettett continued his career in academic medicine, joining the faculty at Children’s Mercy Hospital in the Neonatal Medicine Section and at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine (UMKC-SOM). In addition to his clinical practice at both Children’s Mercy Hospital and Truman Medical Center, Dr. Pettett taught medical students, residents and fellows in the care of premature and critically-ill infants. He was a lecturer in medical bioethics and the Director of the History of Medicine curriculum. From 2002-2003, he served as the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the medical school, and held a joint appointment as Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Humanities there. Currently he is an Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Humanities. Since 1995 he has also been a Fellow at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City where his primary interests were research ethics and professionalism.

Dr. Pettett has been an active participant in organized medical societies since graduation from medical school. He has been a Fellow in the AAP since 1971. During his military career he was active in the AAP and its East and West AAP Chapters in the Section on Military Medicine. Dr. Pettett has also been a member of the American Medical Association for over 25 years, most recently a member of the Missouri State Medical Association, and an active member of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Medical Society of Greater Kansas City (MMSGKC). For much of that time he had been either a vice-councilor or councilor to the MSMA from District VII. From 2001-2003, Dr. Pettett served as the UMKC-SOM delegate to the AMA’s Section on Medical Schools. In 2006 he served as MMSGKC President, and from 2009-2010 he served as the Chair of MSMA’s Council. He was elected President of the Missouri State Medical Association in 2011.

In addition to his professional activities, Dr. Pettett has been active in several community and not-for-profit organizations. He served on the Board of Directors for MetroCare, a non-profit organization which helps low-income, uninsured patients gain access to needed primary and specialty medical care in metropolitan Kansas City. He was also the President of the Edgar Snow Memorial Fund, a non-profit volunteer organization which promotes academic, business, and cultural exchanges with China. As a result, Dr. Pettett has had numerous opportunities to travel throughout China.

Since his retirement Dr. Pettett has remained active in organized medicine at the local, regional and national levels. Dr. Pettett firmly believes that in this ever-more complex profession of medicine, senior physicians have a wealth of experience and knowledge which can be of enormous benefit to younger physicians and to the evolving practice of medicine. Dr. Pettett encourages senior and retired physicians to remain active in the educational, political and economic issues in medicine and fosters issues which focus on the physician-patient relationship

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Watch the video from the 2016 KCMS Annual Meeting which honors Dr. Pettett below: