Boston University


Boston University
Professor in Child Health & Well Being Director, Grow Clinic for Children

Deborah A. 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.

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Is there a doctor in the kitchen? How culinary medicine reenvisions food.

May 31, 2017

Christian Science Monitor quoting Deborah Frank, School of Medicine “In her white lab coat and slacks, Maureen Villaseñor looked better suited to be handing out prescriptions at a clinic than talking salad dressing in a grocery store aisle…” Expert quote: “Doctors are starting to recognize that we can hand out shots and antibiotics day in […]

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RIC conference puts youth food insecurity in spotlight

May 1, 2015

Providence Journal Deborah Frank, School of Medicine Hunger hits children the hardest. The youngest are typically the most invisible because they are not seen by teachers or child-care providers… Expert quote: “The first 1,000 days of life are critical. It’s a period of brain growth that a child will never have again.” View full article

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December 8, 2014

Slate Deborah Frank, School of Medicine In 1985, as crack cocaine use was surging in American cities, the New England Journal of Medicine published a provocative study… View full article quoting expert Deborah Frank

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Activists and Scholars Respond to the New Poverty Data

September 29, 2014

TalkPoverty Deborah Frank, School of Medicine This week, the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that there was a statistically significant decline in poverty last year.  It is the first decline since 2006, and just the second since 2000… Expert quote: “To me, a pediatrician for 38 years, I know the 2013 poverty numbers represent names and faces, including […]

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Deborah Frank named to the National Commission on Hunger

June 23, 2014

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A Stillborn Child, A Charge of Murder and the Disputed Case Law on ‘Fetal Harm’

March 18, 2014

ProPublica Deborah Frank, School of Medicine Rennie Gibbs, a 16 year old in Mississippi when she gave birth to a stillborn child, is facing life in prison for taking cocaine during her pregnancy. Hers is among a burgeoning number of cases in which women are prosecuted for allegedly endangering their unborn children… Expert quote: “There […]

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Cuts in New Jersey food aid focus on heating assistance program

February 13, 2014

Gannett Washington Bureau Deborah Frank, School of Medicine Nearly 160,000 New Jersey families will lose an average $90 in federal food assistance each month under a new farm law, but the cuts won’t take effect immediately, an administration official said. The families will continue to receive some assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly […]

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Farm bill’s food-aid cuts focus on heating assistance program

February 5, 2014

Democrat & Chronicle Deborah Frank, School of Medicine About 300,000 New York families will lose an average $90 in federal food assistance each month under a farm bill Congress sent to the White House on Tuesday… Expert quote: “This benefit is becoming progressively more inadequate for a healthy diet. From a health perspective, it’s like […]

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Doctors say cutting food stamps could backfire

January 10, 2014

Associated Press Deborah Frank, School of Medicine Doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills. Maybe not immediately, they say, but over time if the poor wind up in doctors’ offices or hospitals as a result… Expert quote: “If you’re interested in saving health […]

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Starved girl known as LP had to have a heart transplant

August 4, 2013

Kansas City Star Deborah Frank, School of Medicine When the severely malnourished little girl known as LP was rescued from a locked closet last summer, she still wasn’t out of danger… Expert quote: “You have to be very, very careful when you’re getting somebody who’s severely malnourished about how slowly you give them food and […]

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