Oklahoma Children's Hospital Pediatrician Earns National Leadership Award

OKLAHOMA CITY – Marianne “Marny” Dunlap, M.D., a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital, was recently named the 2019 Gretchen Hunsberger Medical Champion for her efforts in fighting illiteracy.

Dunlap has established herself as a champion for early literacy, which led to the founding of the Reach Out and Read program at The Children’s Hospital. For two generations, the program has promoted the benefits of early reading, not only in enhanced learning and academic performance, but the parent-child bonds that are built through reading together. Reach Out and Read partners with healthcare providers to offer free books to patients at their well-child visits with pediatricians. More than 85,000 books are distributed each year.

“Studies have discovered direct links between the parents who read aloud to their children and how those children achieve greater educational success,” said Dunlap. “With the powerful influences in today’s culture – social media and other screen-time activities – parents are challenged to carve out meaningful time with their kids. As healthcare providers, we care not only about physical health but

also about the overall well-being of the child. As we interact with parents, we’re coaching and advocating, too.”

To bolster the Reach Out and Read program, The Children’s Hospital providers and staff host an annual Green Eggs and Ham breakfast fundraiser. Funds are used to replenish the supply of books given away on a daily basis.

Dunlap received this latest award at the recent Reach Out and Read National Leadership Conference in Boston.



At The Children’s Hospital, pediatric staff blends years of training with education, research and technology to improve the lives of children throughout the region. The obstetric emergency room at The Children’s Hospital is a regional referral center for the state, and the neonatal intensive care unit provides the highest level of newborn care in Oklahoma. Children’s is also home to the only 24/7 pediatric emergency room in Oklahoma City. With a family-centered approach to healing, Children’s offers resources from pet therapy to child life specialists who help families cope with hospitalization and illness. From advanced surgical services to general pediatrics, oncology care and more, The Children’s Hospital provides cutting-edge research and treatments through hospital-based and outpatient services. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com/childrens.


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 is the No. 1 ranked hospital system in Oklahoma, and its oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, in the 2019-2020 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. OU Health was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in four specialties: Ophthalmology in partnership with Dean McGee Eye Institute, Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com.