Last Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Laura Offutt, M.D., F.A.C.P, an internal medicine physician in Delaware County has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) with its June Everyday Hero Award.
It was her work as the founder and director of International Adolescent Health Week that stood out to her nominator for recognition of this award. It is an annual international week of dynamic events intended to inspire adolescents and their communities to advocate for a successful transition into adulthood.
Dr. Offutt attended medical school at Northwestern University Medical School and completed her residency in internal medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
“I was one of those little kids that liked science and liked people, and so a career in medicine was a perfect fit” she said. “In medical school, I loved every clinical rotation; I selected general internal medicine because it incorporated so many aspects of medicine in each individual patient.”
Having held numerous positions in medical research and pharmaceuticals, it was inspiration from her own teenagers that got her interested in the next leg of her journey.
“It was the early days of social media, and I was really interested in what I was seeing from my kids and their friends at that time, especially how they were finding health information to address their concerns.”
The initiative started as Pennsylvania Teen Health Week, celebrated in first in 2016 with the Governor’s Proclamation. The first Global Teen Health Week was celebrated in 2018 before expanding into the vision it is today.
“Physicians can and should be advocates for change,” Dr. Offutt said. “I find people often dismiss young people, but they are a huge segment of our population that should not be disparaged or ignored.”
Upon news of receiving the Everyday Hero Award, Dr. Offutt says she was excited and honored.
“This initiative really is a labor of love. There have been a lot of obstacles and often it’s difficult for people to understand the breadth of what we’re trying to achieve for young people. It makes it so great to be recognized here at home.”
When not working on International Adolescent Health Week, Dr. Offutt hosts Real Talk with Dr. Offutt, a teen health resource, and volunteers at Community Volunteers in Medicine in West Chester. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health.
PAMED’s Everyday Hero Award, launched in 2018, is designed to showcase talented physicians who go above and beyond in their profession and in providing patient care.
Patients and medical colleagues can nominate PAMED member physicians for this award at www.pamedsoc.org/EverydayHero
Myla Merkel, Pennsylvania Medical Society