Howard Dubowitz, MD

The Ray E. Helfer Society Awards Dr. Howard Dubowitz Its Highest Honor

Howard Dubowitz, MDHelfer Award Nomination by Martin A. Finkel, DO

Nominee: Howard Dubowitz, MD, MS

Dear Awards Committee,

It is indeed an honor to nominate a respected and esteemed colleague Howard Dubowitz, MD for the 2015 Helfer Award. This prestigious award was established to recognize a member of our society who exemplifies the exceptional leadership of its namesake, Ray Helfer, MD. Dr. Dubowitz is an individual that Dr. Helfer would have undoubtedly endorsed for his enormous contributions in the arenas of pioneering research, clinical service, academics, teaching and leadership. I would venture to say that in our field worldwide there is no name that is more recognizable and respected for his visionary and pioneering work to address the issue of child neglect than Howard. Dr. Dubowitz has thoughtfully and skillfully dedicated his career to defining and carefully articulating the ubiquitous nature of the neglect of children to recognize the most obvious and subtle manifestations of this form of maltreatment. He has provided great insight through his lecturing and his prolific academic writings to help us see neglect where others may not have and then proscribe the steps to help children and their families succeed.

In 1981 Dr. Dubowitz began his child abuse pediatrics career as a fellow at the Children's Hospital, Boston. Upon completion of his CAP fellowship in 1983 Dr. Dubowitz was appointed a Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and as Senior Staff Pediatrician at Children's Hospital, Boston in the Comprehensive Child Health Program.  In 1985 he became an assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland, which became the laboratory for his pioneering work of over 34 years where he holds the title of Professor and established and directs the Child Protection Team, Division of Child Protection, Care Clinic and the Maryland Child Abuse Medical Professional Program. His curriculum vitae is replete with chairmanships of local, state, national, international committees, appointments to advisory committees, task forces and boards of directors. This multitude of appointments is not just a matter of happenstance, but rather because he has garnered so much respect and has been sought for his unique and informed perspective on child neglect and the full scope of maltreatment.

Dr. Dubowitz has garnered significant grant support from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Children & Families, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This reflects an impressive scope of grant support by funders who recognized the quality and uniqueness of Dr. Dubowitz and colleagues' proposed research agenda.

To his credit, he has 121 peer reviewed publication s, 8 commentaries, 3 books, 44 book chapters and 10 monographs . His edited book, Neglected Children: Research, Practice and Policy as well as his co-edited text, Handbook for Child Protection Practice and International Aspects of Child Abuse and Neglect, have all become standard reference texts for the field.

Dr. Dubowitz' s work and his writings have conceptualized and defined the "Neglect" component of Child Abuse and Neglect. His work has made a tremendous impact on the health and welfare of children both in the United States and throughout the world. Just take a look at his invited lectureship at every major child abuse conference in the US and internationally. Howard has a warm, engaging and unique speaking style that blends academic insights, clinical experience and research in a manner that is informative and practical.

Dr. Dubowitz's contributions to the Helfer Society of which he was a founding member and has held the position of President from 2011-2014 are known to each in every one of us. He is an endearing and treasured colleague and friend who represents the very best of what it means to be a child abuse pediatrician. He has left an inedible mark on our field and we have all benefited from his life’s work. It is indeed an honor for me to proffer Dr. Howard Dubowitz for this year's Helfer Award.

Martin A. Finkel, DO, FAAP
Professor of Pediatrics
Rowan University CARES Institute