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Boston pediatrician awarded with Presidential Citizens Medal

WASHINGTON – President Obama next week will present a pediatrician from Boston with the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, honoring a man who spent his career researching babies and educating new parents about them.

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, a 94-year-old physician, will be among a group of other Americans who will receive the Presidential Citizens Medal on Feb. 15 at the White House.

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“It is my distinguished honor to award these individuals the 2012 Citizens Medal for their commitment to public service,” Obama said in a statement. “Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country.”

The medal, created in 1969, honors those who have “performed exemplary deeds of service.” Nearly 6,000 people were nominated to receive the medal this year, and Brazelton is one of a handful to be given the honor.

Brazelton is best known for developing the Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale, which is used to measure physical and neurological responses of newborns. Brazelton has also hosted the cable television program “What Every Baby Knows,” and written books and a syndicated newspaper column.

He is currently on the faculty at the Brazelton Institute, a research and education facility at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and is Professor of Pediatrics Emeritus at Harvard Medical School.

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.
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