Dr. Peanut: A St. Louis Pediatrician Battles Child Malnutrition in Haiti

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A small room off to the side is bare except for an examination table, a makeshift desk piled with folders and bottles of medicine, and two narrow wooden benches pushed up against the walls. A tall Haitian nurse wearing a white dress and a cap and stockings, straight out of the 1950s, confers with a smaller, wiry American woman over a pair of height-and-weight charts.The Haitian is Marie Fleurese Gourges, head nurse of Justinien’s infant malnutrition clinic. The American is Dr. Patricia Wolff, a St. Louis pediatrician. Wolff is 62 years old. She has large blue eyes, short blonde hair, a pointed chin — and a commanding presence. As her friend Mary McElwain puts it: “Pat is a person who feels people should listen to her.”

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