About Dr. Huff

Olson Huff, MD FAAP

Dr. Olson Huff, a Kentucky native, has practiced pediatrics in North Carolina all of his professional Career.

His undergraduate degree is from the University of Kentucky and his medical degree from the University of Louisville. He completed a rotating internship in medicine and surgery at the Wilford Hall USAF Hospital in San Antonio Texas, and his residency in pediatrics at Charlotte Memorial Hospital (now Carolinas Medical Center). His fellowship in developmental pediatrics was at the Division for Disorders of Development and Learning at UNC, Chapel Hill.

He is a veteran of the USAF, and served as a flight surgeon in Southeast Asia and at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire, during the Vietnam War.

From 1968 to 1982 he was in private pediatric practice in Charlotte, NC. In 1982 he and his family moved to Asheville where he assumed a position with the Developmental Evaluation Center. He also was an adjunct faculty and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) from 1982 until 1990.

In 1987, Dr. Huff established the child development program at Thoms Hospital in Asheville This program was subsequently named in his honor by the hospital’s Board of Directors. In 1994 he became the Medical Director of the Ruth and Billy Graham Children’s Health Center at Mission Hospital. Under his leadership, Mission Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in Western North Carolina, was formed. The Olson Huff Center for Child Development became a part of the Children’s Hospital in 1996.

Currently, retired from medical practice, he is a consultant to the Mission Hospital Health Care Foundation.

Dr. Huff is chair of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Partnership for Children (Smart Start), former Chair of the Task Force on Obesity and Nutrition of the Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission and currently is co-chair of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Task Force on Early Childhood Obesity. He is immediate past Chair of the Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Federal Government Affairs and on the Board of Directors, of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation where he established the  “Kids in Parks” program,; he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. He serves on a number of other boards and was recently appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the NC Early Childhood Advisory Council.

He has authored three books and numerous articles on children’s health, development and behavior.  His latest book, written for children, will be released in the fall of 2012.

He started the Sixty Second Parent in 2008 that has the www.sixtysecondparent.com website and has published two books on parenting newborns and young children. This exciting program provides information regarding health, behavior and development for parents and caregivers of young children.

His work with and for children has been recognized by The Lewis Hine Award from the National Child Labor Council, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian award, the American Academy of Pediatrics special recognition award for advancing dental care to low income children, and the Founders Award from Mission Hospital, Asheville .NC   He received the Dave Tayloe Sr. award for outstanding community health service from the North Carolina Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics Advocacy Award .He was named one of the 50 most influential citizens of the 20th century in Western North Carolina and in 2009 was inducted into the University of Kentucky college of Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame. In 2011 he received the Glaxo Smith Kline Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011 he also received the Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Leadership Award from the North Carolina Foundation for Advanced Health Programs. In May 2012, he received the Razor Walker award from the School of Education at UNC-Wilmington.

Dr. Huff lives in Black Mountain with his wife, Marylyn. They have three sons and four growing grandchildren. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, USA, and a jogger and is an avid reader of U.S. History.

28 Responses to About Dr. Huff

  1. CYNTHIAASHBY says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, OLSON, WHO KNEW WHEN YOU WERE A MEDICAL STUDENT AT LOUISVILLE CHILDRENS’ HOSPITAL YOU WOULD ACHIEVE SO MANY PROFOUNDLY WONDERFUL THINGS TO HELP CHILDREN?

  2. Earl Trevathan says:

    Olson, sitting here in front of my computer reading your BLOG and reviewing your accomplishments has given me much joy and a feeling of hope for needs of children in a time
    of cutting back and penny pinching. Your mission and writing talents are a blessing for us all who are looking for answers and pleading for needed resources. Keep it up. My congratulations and best wishes. Earl Trevathan.

  3. Blake Thompson says:

    Great stuff Dr. Huff. How do we fund the stop hunger initiative?

    • Blake, great hearing from you. One thing I think would work is to start what we did during the second World War – “Victory Gardens” By teaching people more ways to grow food on even small plots of ground that will be a start. Given the enormity of the problem however, I think it will take ALL of us to turn this pervasive problem around.

  4. You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the article you write.
    The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like
    you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  5. Victoria Schmidtke says:

    Dr, My husband and I loved your movie “Country Remedy”. We thought it was a true story.

  6. Hattie L & Estil B Huff says:

    My name is Estil B Huff. My wife and I just became a follower to receive your blogs. The following is some info about me. You may have known my Dad, Permilles (Milles) Huff. He is a brother of your Grandma Mary. By looking at pictures my Mom and Dad left after their passing it has taken me several years to find relatives living in Hyden, Ky. This past July we visited some of Samantha’s children..Nadine, Ruth, Margaret, Mary, Lillian, Gerald, and Altama’s son Don. I found out about you from Nadine & Lillian. Your Grandma’s brother Alfred Huff has a son, Damon, living in Shallotte, NC and me (Estil) are the only 2 remaining first cousins of your Dad, Albert. Barney Huff’s daughter, Hazel, was a tremendous help in locating relatives in Hyden..that in itself is a long story. I am amazed learning of how many of my Dad’s and Mom’s family are in the Medical and Law Enforcement Field. I have known my Mom’s side of family all my life and it has been so wonderful to find my Dad’s family. I would sure like to meet you. We have been reading your blogs and ABOUT you. You have accomplished so very much and made a difference in this world and touched many lives especially children. Hattie and I grew up in Rose Hill, VA..now living in Willoughby, OH. If you would like to see pictures of our family and pictures of many of the people I found in my search go to Hattie Huff’ Facebook. Very nice picture of you and Marylyn in your gallery. God Bless you.
    Estil B & Hattle L Huff

    • My apologies for not responding sooner. I did send an e-mail but I think I put the incorrect address in – needless to say I was delighted to get your message. Although there seems to be a lot of information about my grandfather Will Huff, I know virtually nothing about frandmother Mary; that is a shame as she was the one who raised my father and his siblings after Will apparently abandoned them for another woman. One of my nephews, John Bottom, who lives in Frankfort, is doing a major amount of research into the family so I will send your contact to him as well.
      I am not sure exactly where Willoughby, OH is but my youngest brother Lloyd, lives in Dayton.

      Great getting you message!!

      Olson

  7. Olson. I’ve often thought about you. And tonight I was watching the movie exodus on TV. And I thought about you. You were one of the best medical friends that I have ever had. I loved pediatrics. But I did OB/GYN in Frankfort Kentucky for 30 years. I just read your history on the Internet and I am so proud of you.
    BJ Jackson MD

  8. JOY says:

    It is nice to have a famous much loved relative. Love, Joy & Don Taylor

  9. Laurie Harvey says:

    Your name was given to me by a friend who has taken her son to your office. I am looking for a specialist that works with kids with executive skills dysfunction. I am an occupational therapist and have an 8 year old presenting with weaknesses in several of these skills. Is this something you can help with? Thank you

    • I no longer see patients. However, the Huff Center, a part of Mission Children;s Hospital can address the question you raise. You may reach the Center at 213-1740
      Thank you for asking!

  10. Sally Hutchison says:

    Dr. Huff,
    I often thought of you after you moved to Ashville. As I told you I would bring my boys to see you where ever you are because I respected you so much. Now that I have two preteen granddaughters I still think about asking you questions about growth and development.
    I looked you up on google and saw your impressive bio. I was so proud that my boys were your patients in the early years of your Charlotte practice.
    Chris is now 47 and Eric is 44. Thank you for treating me as a “non-nurse mother”and guiding me through the growth of my sons. Blessings to you and Marilyn and may your retirement years continue to be memorable

    • Sally, how nice to hear from you and what a great update from you. Thanks for your kind words. I have enjoyed my career tremendously and still have a great deal of involvement working on behalf of children.
      My best to all of your family!

      Olson

  11. Tim Adrian says:

    Dear Dr. Huff,
    Years ago I read in readers digest an essay you wrote with the thought being that “no child should ever look past you to find a friend”. I have often referred to this essay when I had opportunity for public speaking. Thank you for your inspirational thoughts and wonderful life example.

    Tim Adrian
    Hutchinson,KS

  12. Kelly M Diorio says:

    Hello, my name is Kelly Martin, I was a patient of Dr. Huff, when he was starting out. Writing this email is tearful because Mommy and Daddy passed away recently, just 40 days from each other. I’m just wondering if Dr. Huff remembers me.
    He is a great Doctor, I will write more later.

    Best regards
    Kelly Martin

  13. Elaine Hill says:

    Dr. Huff, I remember you so well from your practice in Charlotte, NC. in January, 1979, you prayed with my husband and me the night before our son Daniel had exploratory surgery and liver biopsy. We were young, first time parents who were scared to death for our six week old baby boy. I have never forgotten you for that…or for accepting what our meager insurance would pay at the time for your pediatric services. I hope you are enjoying your retirement.

    • Thank you so very much for your kind and touching words. I hope all these years have been good to you,and yes, retirement is good with many things for the benefit of children still to do!!

  14. Roland says:

    Olson, this is Roland Edwards, a fellow USAF officer assigned to Takli AFB when you were there. If you remember, I came to Charlotte one weekend to visit ( approximately 1967).
    Just saw the information on your work in Ashville, and thought I would say hello. Kathy, my wife, and I are living in Murfreesboro, TN. Hope you and Marylyn are well, and hope you will respond.

    • Roland, what a pleasure to hear from you! Yes, I remember our days at Takhli well and also your visit when I was doing my residency in Charlotte. I started private practice in pediatrics in Charlotte in 1968 and after 14 years, accepted a position in Asheville. We now live in Black Mountain, about 15 miles to the east of Asheville and I am mostly retired!
      Would love to catch up. Send me a phone number (my cell is 828 778-0901 and e-mail is olson@sixtysecondparent.com) and I will give you a ring!
      Look forward to a talk!

      Olson

  15. Roland says:

    Olson, thanks for the quick reply. My cell #: 615-962-3823. Perhaps one day next week we can visit. It will be good to hear your voice!

  16. joseph molony says:

    I read your letter in the citizen times and it was excellent. My wife nancy and I are new residents in Black Mountain and hope we meet you someday.

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