William A. Petit, Jr. is the son of William A. Sr. and Barbara Triano Petit, the oldest of five children (Glenn, Michael, Brian and Johanna). He graduated from Plainville High School as Salutatorian in 1974, where he was President of his class and Co-Captain of the Basketball team and was on the Cross Country and Track and Field squads. In 1978 Dr. Petit graduated with honors (Cum Laude) with a Biochemistry degree from Dartmouth College where he played Freshman Basketball and was on the Track and Field squad. He graduated with honors (Cum Laude) as the highest ranked student in Internal Medicine (Heard Senior Prize) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1982) and later completed his residency in Internal medicine at the Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester's School of Medicine and Dentistry (1982-85). He completed his Fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Yale University School of Medicine from 1985-1988 with clinical training at the Yale-New Haven Hospital and the West Haven VA Medical Center. Working with his own NIH grant (using NMR Spectroscopy to study diabetes metabolism), he was an Associate Research scientist at Yale as a Fellow and through 1989. His scientific curriculum vitae can be viewed on LinkedIn. He has authored over 10 scientific papers, written a chapter on diabetic neuropathy, edited two books on diabetes and diet, and authored three books on diabetes and endocrinolgy.
Dr. Petit entered private practice in Plainville from 1989 through 1997 (offices on east Street and Washington Street). In 1997 he was selected to become the Medical Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center at the then New Britain General Hospital. He was also the Co-Director of Clinical Research and the Section Chief for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He held all three positions from 1997-2007 from his office on the corner of Maple and Whiting Streets with a secondary specialty office at New Britain General Hospital (now the Hospital of Central CT) and served as the Director of Public Health for Plainville from 1994 until 2008.
In 2007 after his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were murdered in a home invasion, Dr. Petit with the help of friends and family created the Petit Family Foundation as a 501c3 dedicated to maintaining the legacies of his wife and a daughters. The mission of the foundation is:
The PETIT FAMILY FOUNDATION honors the memories of JENNIFER HAWKE-PETIT, HAYLEY ELIZABETH PETIT and MICHAELA ROSE PETIT by continuing the kindness, idealism and activism that defined their lives. The Foundation's funds are given to foster the education of young people, especially women in the sciences; to improve the lives of those affected by chronic illnesses; and to support efforts to protect and help those affected by violence.
The first Board meeting was in December 2007 at his current home, 132 Red Stone Hill in Plainville (the former home of Charles H. Norton, Inventor and Machinist). Since then, Dr. Petit has volunteered for the foundation and has served as its President. Its current office is located at 32 Whiting Street in Plainville, and since 2008 the foundation has given out over $2 million dollars in grants and sponsorships.
Dr. Petit was elected to the American Diabetes Hall of Merit in 1994 at the age of 38 for his contributions to care of patients, advocacy for diabetes issuers and participation in the ADA and fundraising for research and education. He was named Clinical Teacher of the Year by the UCONN Primary Care Internal Medicine program three times between 1997-2007. In 2009 he received the FBI Director's Award for Community Service presented by Director Robert Moeller. In 2011 he was named one the First 100 Plus Male Leaders Against Domestic Violence from CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In 2012 he was named one the 50 Most Influential People by Hartford/New Haven Living Magazines, CT1 Media Ventures, Inc. In 2013 he was honored with the Community Leader Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In 2013 he also was given the Excellence in Clinical Diabetes Award by the American Diabetes Association-CT Affiliate. In 2014 he was named a Person of Influence by Safe Haven in Waterbury, CT. On April 2, 2015, he was honored as the 3rd recipient of Interval House's Breakfast With Champions Award, for his commitment to the fight against domestic violence and his ongoing support of Interval House the state’s largest domestic violence intervention and prevention organization. In 2015 he received the Paul K. Maloney Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the CT State Medical Society. In 2016 he received the Bristol Hospital Parent and Child Center Community Advocate award for Child Abuse Prevention. In June 2016 he was awarded the STAR Award from the CT Society of Eye Physicians. The STAR Award is given by CSEP for vision, dedication, and commitment to excellence in Health Care.
He is a member of the CT Science Center’s Women in Science Steering Committee. He is on the Board of Visitors for the Quinnipiac University Frank Netter School of Medicine. He is the Chairman of the CT State Medical Society’s Charitable Trust. He is a member of Men Make a Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence Committee. He is a clinical adviser to Quick, LLC which is developing a non-invasive saliva glucose monitor. He is the Chairman of Hayley's Hope and Michaela's Miracle Memorial MS Fund which has granted over $450,000 for MS programs and scholarships in the state.
He married his wife Christine in 2012, who is from Bristol. She is a professional photographer with her own studio, Le Petit Studio on Whiting Street in Plainville. They are the proud parents of a very active 2.5 year old, William III who attends pre-school in Plainville.
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