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BUSM names Deborah Frank, M.D., inaugural professors in child health and well-being

Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) announces the establishment of an endowed Professorship in Child Health and Well-Being in the department of Pediatrics. This anonymously donated endowment reinforces the importance of supporting clinical practice focusing on public policies related to ending hunger and hardship in young children.

The inaugural incumbent of this professorship is Deborah A. Frank, MD. Frank serves as BUSM professor of Pediatrics; director, Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center (BMC); and founder and principal investigator of Children's HealthWatch, a network of pediatric and public health researchers working to improve child health. A highly respected national authority, she has testified before both the United States and Massachusetts legislatures on the growing national problem of hunger and its effects on children. Frank also leads research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse on the effects of intrauterine exposure to cocaine and other substances on children's long term development. She advocates at hearings and in the media against criminalizing addicted mothers or stigmatizing their children.

Frank has served on numerous committees and advisory boards including the Mayor's Hunger Commission, the Massachusetts Child Hunger Initiative and the Physicians Task Force on Childhood Hunger in Massachusetts. She has received awards in recognition for her work including the 2004 Standing Ovation Award, Massachusetts Human Services Coalition; 2007 Woman of Valor Award, Jewish Funds for Justice; 2008 Woman of Justice Award, Boston Lawyer's Weekly, and more recently in 2010 Dr. Frank received the Massachusetts Health Council Outstanding Leadership Award and the Physician Advocacy Merit Award from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University. Frank is the author of more than 50 papers and articles.

"An endowed professorship is one of the most significant means by which BUSM can honor its highly esteemed teachers and researchers. They are important to the mission of BUSM because they offer our school the opportunity to attract highly distinguished faculty," said BUSM Dean Karen H. Antman, MD. "Dr. Frank's long-standing commitment to caring for and training others to care for children and to understanding and preventing child hunger makes her a deserving candidate to be the first to hold this professorship. By selecting Dr. Frank for this important honor we show continued commitment to serving the most basic needs of the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society."

A summa cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Medical School, Frank did her residency at Children's Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle and completed a fellowship in Child Development with T. Berry Brazelton at Children's Hospital in Boston. She joined BUSM as a clinical assistant professor of Pediatrics in 1981 when she also established the Failure to Thrive Program at Boston City Hospital, now known as the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Frank was named BUSM professor of Pediatrics in 2001.


Contact: Gina DiGravio
Boston University Medical Center

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