The Ray Helfer Society Awards the Helfer Teaching Award to Dr. Kathi Makoroff

A photo of Kathi Makoroff.


I am writing to enthusiastically nominate Dr. Kathi Makoroff for the Teaching Award, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to medical education and professional development. Dr. Makoroff’s dedication, innovation, and diverse efforts have significantly impacted the training of medical students, pediatric residents, fellows, nurses and practicing physicians, as well as the learning of parents. She has mentored countless students over the years, developed training curricula, published on teaching parents, and has created teaching programs.

Dr. Makoroff has been the Director of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine Child Abuse Pediatrics Student Elective and the Cincinnati Children’s Child Abuse Pediatrics Resident Elective since 2001. Both electives offer a 2–4-week elective experience year-round and have always been filled to capacity, accepting multiple students in each rotation. Student and resident feedback have been consistently excellent. The student elective is so desirable that it requires a lottery to determine who will be assigned. Dr. Makoroff has designed these curricula and personally mentors the students and residents. Her students describe Dr. Makoroff as approachable, compassionate and a great teacher.

Dr. Makoroff co-designed a training program in 2004 for Ohio nurses to become competent as Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. This training was offered long before other states offered this certification. This training continues to this date and the nurse graduates of this program work throughout Ohio as PSANEs. Two years prior to beginning the Ohio PSANE training, Dr. Makoroff co-authored a guide for Ohio health professionals on the assessment of child abuse and neglect, published by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

In 2007 Dr. Makoroff assumed the Fellowship Director role at the Mayerson Center and has mentored 10 fellows during these 17 years. Fellows who graduated from the Mayerson Center training have gone into academic positions; many of them now leaders in the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics. At home, Dr. Makoroff had served on the scientific advancement committees of four faculty members.

Dr. Makoroff has led teaching experiences beyond Ohio and the United States. In 2007 she served as Program Chair for the Helfer Society, eventually serving as President of the Society. She then served on the planning committee of the AAP PREP for four years, followed by another four years as Chair. Her tenure as Program Chair, and her significant contributions to the PREP planning committee, exemplify her ability and hard work to drive initiatives forward and effect education from a broad landscape. During these years, Dr. Makoroff earned her Masters in Education, demonstrating her commitment to being the best educator possible and pursuing her passion for teaching. Internationally, Dr. Makoroff’s co-chairmanship for Inter-CAP since 2013, highlights her collaborative skills and her dedication to fostering worldwide dialogue and learning. Her efforts in this capacity have undoubtedly enhanced the quality and effectiveness of international clinical care for children evaluated for child abuse. Her initiatives have not only enriched the educational experiences of countless learners but have also fostered a culture of excellence and compassion for those who have experienced child abuse.

Dr. Makoroff’s research on educating parents about healthy reactions to infant crying, and how to manage the special needs of a child who has suffered brain injury, is a notable continuum to her teaching of health care providers. This research underscores her commitment to her patients beyond the confines of the hospital and recognizes that by educating parents she may be able to prevent inflicted head injury and improve the outcomes of children who have suffered this trauma.

In summary, Dr. Makoroff’s multifaceted contributions to medical education, coupled with her research endeavors and leadership roles, make her an exemplary candidate for the Teaching Award. Her passion for teaching, combined with her comprehensive approaches and collaborative mindset, have lefr an indelible mark on medical education, and have positively influenced the professional development of countless individuals.