2002 HEALTH AWARD
Brazelton Touchpoints Center
For more than a half-century, T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., has tirelessly devoted himself to young children and child advocacy. He has treated thousands of pediatric patients, trained and inspired hundreds of pediatric fellows and residents, as well as delivered thousands of lectures on child development around the world. The author of 38 books translated into 18 languages and 200 scholarly papers, Brazelton also offers advice to parents across the country in his columns in the popular press.
Perhaps Brazelton’s most important contribution to the understanding of children and child advocacy is his Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS). With Brazelton’s NBAS, the awareness of a newborn’s ability to touch, see, hear, feel and smell drastically changed neonatal medical care. Previously, newborns were thought of as not having the ability to use their senses. Now, surgeries and other medical procedures that were once performed without anesthesia are being performed with greater sensitivity to the newborn’s acute senses.
Brazelton has extended his efforts to help parents understand their children’s behavior beyond the newborn period with his Touchpoints model of child development. The Brazelton Touchpoints Center in Boston, and its 38 sites nationwide, provides training to physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals, as well as childcare educators. At age 86, Brazelton continues in his mission to give voice to children’s issues around the world. He recently completed three new books about common problems occurring during a child’s early development. In addition, he continues to lecture on children’s needs, consult to a community-based parenting program and work as an adviser for numerous non-profit organizations in child advocacy.