Professor Wins Public Health Leadership in Medicine Award

Group cites work to improve health of vulnerable children

Megan Sandel. Photo by David Keough

Megan Sandel (SPH’02,’03), associate professor of environmental health at Boston University School of Public Health and associate professor of pediatrics at BU School of Medicine, received the Public Health Leadership in Medicine Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) at its spring awards breakfast on June 2, 2017. Sandel was recognized for achieving groundbreaking success in pediatric care, especially for our most vulnerable children.

“As a physician, I’ve appreciated more and more the critical role that public health plays in the health of communities,” Sandel says. “To be acknowledged as a leader in this field is humbling and inspires me to do even more.”

She is also a principal investigator with Children’s HealthWatch and the associate director of the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center (BMC). The Grow Clinic is an outpatient subspecialty clinic started in 1984 to provide comprehensive specialty medical, nutritional, developmental, and social services and dietary assistance to children from the greater Boston area referred with failure to thrive—insufficient weight gain or unhealthy weight loss—by their primary care physicians.

Sandel is the former pediatric medical director of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health. In 1998, she and her colleagues at BMC published the DOC4Kids report, a first-of-its-kind national report on how housing affects children’s health. In 2001, she became the first medical director of the founding site for medical-legal partnerships, Medical-Legal Partnership-Boston, and from 2007 to 2016, she led as the medical director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

Serving as a principal investigator for numerous National Institutes of Health, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and foundation grants, Sandel has worked with the Boston Public Health Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to improve the health of vulnerable children, particularly those with asthma.

The MPHA is a private, nonprofit, statewide membership organization that promotes action for equity in health through advocacy, public education, community organizing, and coalition-building.

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