Bonner Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

OKLAHOMA CITY – Barbara L. Bonner, Ph.D., recently retired, tenured professor with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC). The award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the field of child maltreatment.

Bonner has achieved national and international prominence in the field of child abuse and neglect. She held the CMRI/Jean Gumerson Endowed Chair in Pediatrics, served as director of the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect and as associate director of OU Children’s Physicians Child Study Center, both located on the OU Health Sciences Center Campus. Under Bonner’s direction since inception, the Center for Child Abuse and Neglect became a leading national academic-based center on child maltreatment. Partnering with many of the state’s major service systems, the center has collaboratively addressed research, training and clinical efforts.

"Dr. Bonner dedicated her career to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and founded our Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the OU College of Medicine,” said Morris Gessouroun, M.D., chairman, Department of Pediatrics at the OU College of Medicine. “Her partnerships with state, national and international agencies has led to critical policy changes for the betterment of children and families. Her research led national efforts to improve the oversight and monitoring of child fatalities due to maltreatment, which resulted in important public health efforts to prevent child deaths and has facilitated the implementation of evidence-based services across our nation. She will be long remembered at OU for her pioneering work, her undying advocacy for children, her mentoring and guidance of faculty, staff and learners, her great sense of humor, her compassion and her humility.”

The impact of Bonner’s leadership and expertise in the field of child maltreatment exceeds state boundaries, influencing professional training and policy development on an international scale, including Sweden, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia and China, among others.

Previously, Bonner received the APSAC’s Outstanding Service Award and the Ronald C. Laney Distinguished Service Award. She had served on the APSAC Board of Directors, held leadership positions within the organization and participated in multiple colloquiums and committees. She is a past president of the International Professional Society to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect and the American Psychological Association presented Bonner with the Distinguished Contributions of Applications of Psychology to Education and Training Award. Bonner’s lifetime accomplishments were also recognized by way of a state proclamation issued by Governor Kevin Stitt.

Regarded as a pioneer in interdisciplinary education on child abuse and neglect, Bonner developed the university’s Interdisciplinary Training Program on Child Abuse and Neglect, a two-semester, graduate-level academic program for students in disciplines of medicine, psychiatry, psychology, social work, law, public health, education, and others. With more than 500 graduates over the course of 30 years, the program is the

only such training program in the United States still providing this educational platform.



Founded in 1910, the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine trains the next generation of healthcare professionals. With campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the College of Medicine offers the state’s only Doctor of Medicine degree program and a nationally competitive Physician Assistant program. For more information, visit


OU Health — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit