Congressman McGovern Gives A Speech In Honor Of Dr. Deborah Frank

Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts gave a speech on the House of Representatives floor on January 15, 2020 to honor Dr. Deborah Frank, Founder of Children’s HealthWatch, for her extensive career and her commitment to improve child health in the United States. Read the transcript below. 

Mr. Speaker today, I’m here to recognize the career of a colleague who’s worked, whose work has always been an inspiration, not just to me, but to countless health care providers, students, advocates and patients alike. Dr. Deborah Frank, Dr. Frank is a woman of many talents and passions. Notably, she has served as a professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. One of Dr. Frank’s most impactful community contributions began in 1984 when she founded the Grow Clinic for children at Boston Medical Center to Grow Clinic as an outpatient clinic that produces comprehensive specialty medical, nutritional developmental, social services and dietary assistance to children.

She is also the founder and principal investigator of Children’s Health Watch the grow clinic’s Outreach and Research arm, which is a network of pediatric and public health Researchers who, like Dr. Frank are committed to improving child health in America. The Grow Clinic serves a diverse patient population of mostly low income families from some of Greater Boston’s poorest communities. But what made the Grow Clinic an essential part of the community is not — is not just its dedication to the u nderserved and underprivileged. It was Dr. Frank’s commitment to gaining a deeper understanding about the social determinants of her patients health.

Her patients knew that they could go to her for their needs beyond physical health. She cared about whether they had housing or warm clothing, she cared about whether they had a — had healthy nutritious food to eat and whether they were getting enough of it, she even started a food pantry at Boston Medical Center to address her patients needs dr. Frank knew that there is more health than than metrics invite.

There’s more to health and metrics and vitals. It is also your environment and support system. Part of what makes Dr. Frank’s legacy remarkable is that she found a way to become part of that support system.

She came into this line of work with a vision and purpose and in the process has changed countless lives.