T. Berry Brazelton to Receive Presidential Citizens Medal

The Harvard pediatrician is honored for his commitment to public service.

T. Berry Brazelton

The White House has announced that clinical professor of pediatrics emeritus T. Berry Brazelton, saluted as “one of the foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development,” will be among the recipients of the 2012 Citizens Medal this Friday, February 15. The medal, established in 1969, is considered the nation’s second-highest civilian honor and recognizes American citizens “who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.” Last year, for the first time, President Barack Obama called on members of the public to help recognize Americans “whose work has had a significant impact on their communities but may not have garnered national attention.” The White House reported that nearly 6,000 public nominations were submitted in response.

Brazelton is widely admired for his television series, What Every Baby Knows, and books such as Infants and Mothers and the Touchpoints series. One of his best-known achievements, notes the press release,

was the development of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), which is now used worldwide to recognize the physical and neurological responses of newborns, as well as emotional well-being and individual differences. In 1993, he founded the Brazelton Touchpoints Center® (BTC) at Boston Children’s Hospital where he continues to promote strengths-based, family-centered care in pediatric and early education settings around the world. 

To learn more about Brazelton’s work for the well-being of children, and the programs run by the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, read this magazine’s January-February 2012 cover story by Elizabeth Gudrais, “Early Learning” and the accompanying Web Extra, a Q&A with Brazelton conducted on his ninety-third birthday. For more on the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, read a brief excerpt from Nurturing Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T. Berry Brazelton, from the magazine’s September-October 2010 issue.



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