Deborah Frank

Deborah A. Frank, MD

Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences - Boston University School of Public Health


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.

Other Positions

  • Professor in Child Health and Well-Being, Pediatrics - Boston University School of Medicine


  • Harvard Medical School, MD Field of Study: Medicine
  • Radcliffe College, BA


  • Published on 11/1/2021

    Tang MN, Adolphe S, Rogers SR, Frank DA. Failure to Thrive or Growth Faltering: Medical, Developmental/Behavioral, Nutritional, and Social Dimensions. Pediatr Rev. 2021 Nov; 42(11):590-603. PMID: 34725219.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2020

    Frank DA, Bruce C, Ochoa E. SNAP Is Medicine for Food Insecurity. Pediatrics. 2020 09; 146(3). PMID: 32826338.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2019

    Ettinger de Cuba SA, Bovell-Ammon AR, Cook JT, Coleman SM, Black MM, Chilton MM, Casey PH, Cutts DB, Heeren TC, Sandel MT, Sheward R, Frank DA. SNAP, Young Children's Health, and Family Food Security and Healthcare Access. Am J Prev Med. 2019 10; 57(4):525-532. PMID: 31542130.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/18/2019

    Tang MN, Ettinger de Cuba S, Coleman SM, Heeren T, Sandel M, Chilton M, Frank DA, Huh SY. Maternal Place of Birth, Socioeconomic Characteristics, and Child Health in US-Born Latinx Children in Boston. Acad Pediatr. 2020 03; 20(2):225-233. PMID: 31541703.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/9/2019

    Drennen CR, Coleman SM, Ettinger de Cuba S, Frank DA, Chilton M, Cook JT, Cutts DB, Heeren T, Casey PH, Black MM. Food Insecurity, Health, and Development in Children Under Age Four Years. Pediatrics. 2019 10; 144(4). PMID: 31501233.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/10/2019

    Rose-Jacobs R, Ettinger de Cuba S, Bovell-Ammon A, Black MM, Coleman SM, Cutts D, Chilton M, Heeren T, Casey P, Ochoa E, Frank DA, Sandel M. Housing Instability Among Families With Young Children With Special Health Care Needs. Pediatrics. 2019 08; 144(2). PMID: 31292218.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2019

    Ettinger de Cuba S, Chilton M, Bovell-Ammon A, Knowles M, Coleman SM, Black MM, Cook JT, Cutts DB, Casey PH, Heeren TC, Frank DA. Loss Of SNAP Is Associated With Food Insecurity And Poor Health In Working Families With Young Children. Health Aff (Millwood). 2019 05; 38(5):765-773. PMID: 31059367.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/4/2019

    Bovell-Ammon A, Cuba SE, Coleman S, Ahmad N, Black MM, Frank DA, Ochoa E, Cutts DB. Trends in Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation among Immigrant Families U.S.-Born Young Children. Children (Basel). 2019 Apr 04; 6(4). PMID: 30987395.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2019

    Barthelemy OJ, Richardson MA, Heeren TC, Chen CA, Liebschutz JM, Forman LS, Cabral HJ, Frank DA, Rose-Jacobs R. Do Differences in Learning Performance Precede or Follow Initiation of Marijuana Use? J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2019 01; 80(1):5-14. PMID: 30807269.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/3/2018

    Sandel M, Sheward R, Ettinger de Cuba S, Coleman S, Heeren T, Black MM, Casey PH, Chilton M, Cook J, Cutts DB, Rose-Jacobs R, Frank DA. Timing and Duration of Pre- and Postnatal Homelessness and the Health of Young Children. Pediatrics. 2018 10; 142(4). PMID: 30177513.

    Read At: PubMed