BOSTON, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Brazelton Touchpoints Center is delighted to announce that Dr. T Berry Brazelton, one of the foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development and the Center's founder, will receive the Presidential Citizens Medal at the White House tomorrow, February 15, 2013. The Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation's second-highest civilian honor, was established in 1969 to recognize American citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens. Dr. Brazelton is one of eighteen recipients who will receive this year's Presidential Citizens Medal.
"We commend Dr. Brazelton for his extraordinary work here at the Center and his lifelong commitment to children's health and early learning," said Terry Ann Lunt, executive director, Brazelton Touchpoints Center. "The impact of his work is not only felt by children but parents, families, and entire communities. It's been an honor to be engaged in that effort."
President Obama will recognize Dr. Brazelton, 95, for his pioneering contributions to the field of pediatrics and child development, which includes the creation of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, used to detect physical and neurological abnormalities in newborns across hospitals nationwide. His innovative, evidence-based approach to child development consists of practical tools and resources designed to strengthen parent-child relationships, help parents understand their child's strengths and behaviors, and encourage full communities to unite around promoting children's healthy development.
"Dr. Brazelton has pioneered the field of early child and brain development. He has taught how vital it is to invest our time, talent and money in supporting young children as their lives unfold," said Dr. Judith Palfrey, holder of the Brazelton Chair at Boston Children's Hospital and a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "If our nation follows his lead by providing early childhood education to all children under four, our children will be physically and mentally healthier, our families happier and more secure, and our communities safer and stronger."
Dr. Brazelton's work reflects a critical focus of President Obama's agenda in the second-term. The President highlighted in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday the importance of promoting children's early learning and guaranteeing high-quality pre-school programs for all children, despite family income level.
The Brazelton Touchpoints Center was founded by Dr. Brazelton at Boston Children's Hospital in 1996 with the goal of promoting strengths-based, family-centered care. The Center will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
"Promoting healthy development starts at a child's earliest moments, and Dr. Brazelton has tirelessly advocated for the need to invest in vulnerable children as early as possible, in order to ensure success throughout pre-school, kindergarten, and beyond," said Susan Buffett, visionary and philanthropic leader in the field of early childhood, both in Nebraska and nationwide, and founder of the Sherwood Foundation and Buffett Early Childhood Fund. "Under his lead, we've made ground-breaking strides toward optimizing children's healthy development from day one, when a child's learning begins."
About Dr. T Berry Brazelton
The author of more than 20 books and more than 200 scientific papers, Dr. Brazelton has spent his career focused on topics such as individual differences among newborns, the parent-infant attachment, the importance of early intervention to at-risk infants, and opportunities for strengthening families in early infancy. He also shared expertise as host of the popular TV show, "What Every Baby Knows," which aired from 1983 to1995.
A renowned advocate for families with young children, Dr. Brazelton was a pivotal supporter of the enactment of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees three months of maternity leave, as well as Public Law 99457, which extends rights and protections of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to young children.
Dr. Brazelton has served as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School since 1988.
For more information on Dr. Brazelton and the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Boston's Children Hospital, please visit: http://www.brazeltontouchpoints.org/.
About Brazelton Touchpoints Center
Founded by Dr. T Berry Brazelton at Boston Children's Hospital in 1996, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center® offers innovative, strength-based interventions and practices to equip and engage families, caregivers, and practitioners to successfully support all domains of children's development essential to successful early learning and lifelong success. The Center offers resources related to professional development, research and evaluation, practice innovation and technical assistance, as well as public advocacy focused on systematic change for children and families. Since its inception, the Brazelton Touchpoints Center® has brought Touchpoints principles and strategies to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and eight American Indian Tribes. The Center's approach has been embraced by tens of thousands of providers in early care and education, health care, and early intervention, reaching more than one million families across the country. For more information, please visit: http://www.brazeltontouchpoints.org/.
SOURCE Brazelton Touchpoints Center