Deborah A. Frank, MD

Deborah A. Frank, MD

Founder and Principal Investigator, Boston Medical Center

Email: dafrank(at)
Tel: (617) 414-5251

Deborah A. Frank, MD, is the Founder and Principal Investigator of Children’s HealthWatch. Her research interests include examining cumulative risk factors in children’s households, such as food, energy, and housing insecurity and their impact on children’s health and development. She was also Principal Investigator on a 25 year National Institute on Drug Abuse grant following children who were or were not exposed in the womb to cocaine.

Dr. Frank was the founder of the Grow Clinic for Children at the Boston Medical Center and is Professor of Child Health and Well-Being at Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Frank received her BA summa cum laude from Radcliffe College in Social Relations and her MD from Harvard Medical School. She completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle, WA and her fellowship in Child Development with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, MA.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Failure to Thrive
  • Child Development
  • Cumulative Hardship
  • Heat or Eat (the coordination between SNAP and LIHEAP)


Dr. Frank received the Children’s Champion Award from the U.S. Committee of UNICEF in 1986, the U.S. Mayor’s End Hunger Award in 1991, the Woman Leader Award in 2002, and the Exceptional Women Award in 2002.


Food Security, Poverty, and Human Development in the United States
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
June 1, 2008

Household Food Insecurity: Associations with At-Risk Infant and Toddler Development.
January 1, 1998

Heat or Eat: the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Nutritional and Health Risks among Children less than 3 Years of Age.
November 1, 2006

Child Food Insecurity Increases Risks Posed by Household Food Insecurity to Young Children’s Health.
Journal of Nutrition
January 1, 2006

Child Food Insecurity and Iron Deficiency Anemia in Low-Income Infants and Toddlers in the United States.
Maternal and Child Health Journal
March 1, 2006