WVU faculty pediatrician led effort to reduce infant mortality in state

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Martha D. Mullett, M.D., a 1972 graduate of the West Virginia University School of Medicine, has been named this year’s recipient of the Loyal West Virginia Physician Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the health care of state citizens. The school’s alumni association will present Dr. Mullett with a plaque when the group gathers this Sunday, September 30.
As a WVU pediatrics professor and clinician, Mullett’s leadership during the formation of WVU’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the development of perinatal care services around West Virginia helped lead to a tremendous drop in infant mortality in the state.

In 1978, Mullett became the NICU director at what is now West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, a position she held until 1998.  Mullett went on to serve as director of clinical utilization and outcomes management for WVU Healthcare Ruby Memorial Hospital’s Center for Quality Outcomes and also led the West Virginia Birthscore Project, which identifies infants at high risk for infant morbidity and mortality and refers them for follow-up and needed medical consultation.

Mullett retired from clinical practice and the WVU School of Medicine faculty in June of this year.

Mullett has served WVU as a member of the WVU Medical Corporation Board of Directors; the West Virginia University Faculty Senate; as chair of the School of Medicine’s Committee on Women’s Issues; and as president of the WVU School of Medicine Alumni Association. She has also served as president of the West Virginia Perinatal Association.  

At the national level, Mullett is the only West Virginia physician to be appointed by the Secretary of Defense and approved by the White House to serve as a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), providing senior Pentagon officials with independent advice regarding women in the armed forces. As vice-chair of the group for two years in the 1990s, Mullett served for a total of six years.  

In addition to her medical degree, Mullett also completed her baccalaureate at WVU in 1968, and earned a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University. She went on to complete her pediatric residency and a fellowship in neonatal perinatal medicine at WVU in 1976.

The Loyal West Virginia Physician Award was established in 2010 by the WVU School of Medicine Alumni Association to recognize West Virginians for compassionate delivery of healthcare, for outstanding community service and for dedication to the WVU School of Medicine.

For more information on the WVU School of Medicine, see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som.

To learn more about the WVU School of Medicine Alumni Association, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/som-alumni/Alumni-Association.
For more information: Leigh Limerick, Communications Specialist, 304-293-7087
lal: 09-27-12