Dr. Deborah A. Frank graduated in 1976 from Harvard Medical School and completed her pediatrics residency at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle, Washington. then served as a fellow at Children’s Hospital in Boston under Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. She began working at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center) in 1981. In 1984 she found the Failure to Thrive Program at Boston City Hospital, now called the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center.
In 1998, she was one of the founding investigators of Children’s Health Watch (www.childrenshealthwatch.org) formerly Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program, (C-SNAP), an ongoing multisite effort to produce non-partisan, original and timely policy-relevant research on the health impact of food insecurity and associated hardships on impoverished families and their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, In 2011 she became the inaugural incumbent of a newly established Pediatric Professorship in Child Health and Well Being at Boston University School of Medicine
Dr. Frank has written numerous scientific articles and papers, most recently on the developmental and behavioral correlates of food insecurity in childhood and adolescence.
Cited as a respected authority in her fields, Dr. Frank has given testimony to city, state and federal legislative committees on the growing problem of hunger and associated hardships in the United States and its effects on our youngest children. Dr. Frank was the sole physician appointed to the 10 member National Commission on Hunger in 2014. She was also recruited to serve on the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Food Insecurity and Health Care Costs.
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. She received the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps’ Embracing the Legacy Award on June 3, 2014, 2014, the American Medical Association’s Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award on June 6, 2014, and the Congressional Hunger Center’s Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Award on June 24, 2014. She received two awards in 2015 one national --- Dale Richmond/Justin Coleman Award, American Academy of Pediatrics and the other regional -- Changing the Equation Award, Eos Foundation. In 2016 the Grow clinic was the recipient of the Nick Littlefield Award for Excellence in Community Health. In 2017 Dr. Frank was awarded the Association for Community Affiliated Plans “Leadership in Advocacy” Award.