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Ferrettis and Stull Honored at Evening of Excellence

Friday, February 10, 2012 - Front Page -

The provost who oversaw the OU Health Science Center's astounding growth spurt, a devoted educator and advocate for disabled children, and the physician who took the Department of Pediatrics to new heights were honored at the Jan. 26, 2012, Evening of Excellence.
The annual dinner, sponsored by the OU College of Medicine Alumni Association to raise funds research by junior investigators, was held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
Dean's awards for distinguished service were presented to scientist and former Provost Joseph J. Ferretti; his wife, Martha Ferretti, chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Allied Health; and Terrence L. Stull, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics.
Joseph J. Ferretti, Ph.D.
During Ferretti's 16-year tenure as Provost, the OU Health Science Center was transformed in all ways – from the construction of new state-of-the-art research, education and patient care facilities to the quadrupling of the overall campus budget to $800 million.
During the same period, grants from the National Institutes of Health – the "gold standard" for research – grew to $42.4 million, and total research funding increased 375 percent, rising to $148.7 million.
Under Ferretti's leadership, the campus underwent an extensive physical change with the completion of key capital improvement projects. Thirty-five construction projects were launched or completed on the OU Health Sciences Center campus between 1996 and 2011, representing an overall investment in facility enhancement of more than $554 million.
Key projects completed while Ferretti was provost include the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer center, the College of Allied Health building, the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center, the Stanton L. Young Biomedical Research Center and establishment of the Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine in the College of Medicine.
Ferretti also became internationally noted for his work with streptococcal infections since joining the OU Health Sciences faculty in 1969 for what he said then would be a five-year stay.
For more than 30 years, Ferretti sponsored two summer programs for minority students, Career Opportunities in the Health Sciences and Headlands Indian Health Careers, both of which proved to be highly successful with students entering health and science careers.
On his retirement as provost last summer, he returned to his lab in Department of Microbiology and Immunology, which he once chaired and where he is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor.
Ferretti has been honored with a variety of research, leadership and teaching awards during his career. In 1983, he was inducted into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, and in 1997, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the OU College of Dentistry in 2008, and that same year, with his wife, Martha Ferretti, received the "Treasures for Tomorrow" Award.
Born and raised in Chicago, Ferretti received an undergraduate degree at Loyola University and graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota. Following postdoctoral fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins University, he joined the OU Health Sciences Center faculty. Ferretti became chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in 1983, serving in that position until 1993 when he was named vice president for research. In 1995, President Boren named Ferretti senior vice president and provost.
Martha J. Ferretti, P.T., M.P.H.
Martha J. Ferretti is David Ross Boyd Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences, holds the Elam-Plowman Chair in Physical Therapy and chairs the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Allied Health.
Long an advocate for providing excellent services to those with disabilities, she established a departmental goal of collaborating with organizations and agencies for the disabled to improve practices and policies and to promote educational and community inclusion.
Since 1989, Ferretti has served as a member of the Oklahoma Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Development, Oklahoma's program for addressing the needs of infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities and their families.
In 1995, her department's Lee Mitchener Tolbert Center for Developmental Disabilities became a Center of Excellence, with research, publications and education the Tolbert Center's primary objectives. The Tolbert Center also sponsors clinical services throughout Oklahoma via the Oklahoma Autism Network in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. It also works through the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
Ferretti has served as a site reviewer for physical therapy program accreditation for more than 25 years and a member of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education for 12 years. She served on a task force to develop the Educational Leadership Institute of the American Physical Therapy Association and now serves on its inaugural advisory board.
She has been a strong advocate for quality education and innovation for the department's students. Research has evolved into a major emphasis of the department, with faculty now receiving national funding.
Ferretti has been active in community activities that range from serving on school boards to coaching middle school girls' basketball. She most recently launched a pilot reading and mentoring program for second-graders in the Oklahoma City Public School System in partnership with friend Janet Price and in collaboration with United Way of Oklahoma City. This program continues to expand under her leadership.
She also is co-director of Central Oklahoma Turning Point, a volunteer community program dedicated to improving the health of the greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
She and her husband have two children, Joe Ferretti and Ann Marie Mee, both of Dallas, and five grandchildren.
Terrence L. Stull, M.D.
When Terrence Stull was recruited to leave Philadelphia and come to Oklahoma City in 1994, the situation he faced was daunting. The Department of Pediatrics he would chair was small, and its dedicated physicians practiced in a dysfunctional clinic-hospital, whose original section was built in the 1920s.
However, he did have four $1 million endowed chairs, courtesy of Children's Medical Research Institute – one for himself and three to recruit others to join him.
Today, Stull can look down from his 14th floor penthouse office atop Oklahoma's largest pediatric clinic and see a completely different Children's Hospital where his elite, 176-member faculty now practices. Many of these pediatric specialists have been lured away from top institutions to OU by $43 million in endowed positions that CMRI, now Children's Hospital Foundation, has raised for his department. CHF now has raised more than $80 million in endowments and support for the pediatrics program.
Stull's determination and the vision he shared with the energetic leadership of CHF, the University Hospitals Authority and Trust, and the College of Medicine have transformed not only the Department of Pediatrics but also the level of medicine provided to Oklahoma's children.
Stull's efforts to reinvigorate academic pediatrics required many partnerships and supporters of children's health care, including the Community Council of Central Oklahoma, Parenting Research Center at Oklahoma State University, Chances for Children (the Foundation of the Duchess of York), the SafeKids coalition and Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as the community leaders who comprised and supported CMRI.
Stull was born and reared in Alabama. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and attended medical school at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. After his residency in pediatrics at Stanford University, Stull was a chief resident at the Children's Hospital in Birmingham. He completed fellowship training at the Children's Hospital in Seattle, Wash.
He joined OU Medicine as the CMRI Hobbs-Recknagel Chair after a decade in the Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology/Immunology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He now holds the Patricia Price Browne Distinguished Chair.
His continuing research in pediatric infectious diseases, with a concentration in molecular pathogenesis of ear infections, has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for 26 years.
Stull is married to Dana Stull, M.D., a psychiatrist. They are parents of a son, Ben, of Seattle, and a daughter, Lindsey, a first-year medical student at OU.

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