Dr. Judith Palfrey, a pediatrician known for her community health work with children, has been appointed the first T. Berry Brazelton Professor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital, according to this week's issue of Focus, Harvard's medical area newsletter.
"This professorship salutes the work that Berry and Judy have done, and particularly celebrates the contributions of Berry Brazelton," said Dean of the Medical School Daniel C. Tosteson '46 at a celebration of the new professorship last month.
The $1.5 million endowed chair recognizes the work of Brazelton, a pediatrician specializing in child development who first joined the Medical School as an instructor of pediatrics in 1953. After becoming a clinical associate in 1966 and an assistant clinical professor in 1969, Brazelton served as chief of Children's child development unit from 1972 to 1989. He is now an emeritus professor of pediatrics and can claim 26 books and more than 180 scientific articles and chapters to his credit.
Among other achievements, Brazelton is known for creating a neonatal behavioral assessment scale Ythat is widely used by pediatricians to test children's emotional well-being and physical and neurological responses. He is also a great proponent of focusing medical education on the normal development of children rather than their pathologies.
As the recipient of the professorship, Palfrey will have the chance "to make a really important contribution to a very disordered world," Brazelton was quoted as saying in Focus. "If anybody can do it, Judy Palfrey can."
According to Focus, Palfrey joined the faculty of the Medical School in 1975 as a clinical instructor in pediatrics. In the same year, she was appointed assistant in medicine at Children's Hospital. In 1983, Palfrey became an assistant professor of pediatrics, and in 1988, she was appointed associate professor. She now serves as chief of the hospital's division of general pediatrics. Palfrey published a book entitled Community Child Health: An Action Plan for Today in 1994.
"To be called a name that associates me with T. Berry Brazelton has got to be the greatest honor and the greatest moment," she was quoted as saying in Focus. "This is an opportunity for us to listen and to put the child back in the center, back in the family, back in the community.