Nationwide Childrens Hospital Honors Three Doctors with Career Contribution Award

September 11, 2012

Nationwide Children’s Hospital staff and friends gathered Wednesday, September 5, to honor three recipients of the 2012 Career Contribution Awards. The special distinction is awarded by Nationwide Children’s medical staff to a select few of its most highly respected peers. The award is given to those who, in the eyes of their fellow physicians, have exemplified themselves through a lifetime commitment to maintaining the highest quality of health care service and helping Nationwide Children’s build a trademark reputation as a local, regional and national leader in pediatrics.

The 2012 recipients are as follows:

Gail E. Besner, MD – Pediatric Surgery
Gail E. Besner, MD, is chief of Pediatric Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She is program director of the Residency in Pediatric Surgery, principal investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s and co-director of the Burn Program. In addition, Dr. Besner is a Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and holds the H. William Clatworthy, Jr. Professorship in Surgery there. Her clinical interests include neonatal surgery, necrotizing enterocolitis and pediatric burn care. Her research interests involve a growth factor known as heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor, HB-EGF, a growth factor that Dr. Besner identified in the early 1990s. Dr. Besner’s research is funded by three grants from the National Institutes of Health. In addition, she works with a biotechnology company to produce HB-EGF for clinical use, with Phase I and II clinical trials of the use of HB-EGF in the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis anticipated in the near future. Dr. Besner is Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Advocacy and Liaison Committee, Vice Chair of the American College of Surgeons Surgical Research Committee, and recently completed a four-year term as a full time member of the Surgery, Anesthesiology and Trauma Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. She was the recipient of the 2012 Denis R. King Teacher of the Year Award for outstanding contributions to surgical education. 

William H. Cotton, MD – Ambulatory Pediatrics
William H. Cotton, MD, is medical director of the Primary Care Centers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He also is a physician in Ambulatory Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. Cotton is immediate past president of the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is also immediate past president of Nationwide Children’s Medical Staff and is the current president of the Columbus Medical Association. Dr. Cotton is an elected member of the national American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Community Pediatrics.

Mary Lou McGregor, MD – Ophthalmology
Mary Lou McGregor, MD, is director of the Ophthalmology Resident Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She also is a member of Pediatric Ophthalmology Associates and practices at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. McGregor is the past president of the Medical Staff at Nationwide Children’s. Her clinical interests include pediatric cataracts, adult strabismus, low vision and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). She has been an investigator in several multicenter National Institutes of Health grants, including the CRYO-ROP study, STOP-ROP and the ETROP study. She is the director of the Multidisciplinary Low Vision Clinic at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. McGregor received the Makley- Battles Teaching Award in 1996. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Dr. Besner is a resident of Dublin 43016
Dr. Cotton is a resident of New Albany 43054
Dr. McGregor is a resident of Marble Cliff 43212

Dr. Gail Besner, chief of Pediatric Surgery

Dr. Bill Cotton, medical director of the Primary Care Centers

Dr. Mary Lou McGregor, director of the Ophthalmology Resident Clinic 

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at