Deborah Boutin Prothrow-Stith, MD
Title Professor
Institution Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Department Internal Medicine
School College of Medicine
Address 1731 E. 120th Street

Telephone (323) 563-9374
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, M.D. is dean and Professor of Medicine for the College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Dr. Prothrow-Stith is an internationally recognized public health leader, who since 2008 has advised top-tier healthcare, life sciences, academic and not-for-profit institutions on leadership and executive talent in her role as a principal at the global executive search consulting firm, Spencer Stuart. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, she served as the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Public Health Practice and Associate Dean for Diversity at the Harvard School of Public Health where she created and led the Division of Public Health Practice, and secured over $14 million in grant funding for public health programs.

As a physician working in inner-city Boston, Dr. Prothrow-Stith broke new ground with her efforts to define youth violence as a public health problem. She developed and wrote The Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents, a forerunner of violence prevention curricula for schools and communities. She is the author of Deadly Consequences, the first book to present the public health perspective on violence to a mass audience. She has authored and co-authored over 100 publications. She is co-author of a blueprint for community based violence prevention in, Murder Is No Accident (Jossey Bass Publishers, 2004) and a guide for parents of adolescent girls in Sugar and Spice and No Longer Nice, (Jossey Bass Publishers, 2005). She is also co-author of a high school health education textbook, Health (Pearson 2014) that is in its third publication.

In 1987, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed her the first woman Commissioner of Public Health for Massachusetts where she led a department with 3,500 employees, 8 hospitals and a budget of $350 million. She established the nation’s first Office of Violence Prevention in a state department of public health, expanded prevention programs for HIV/AIDS and increased drug treatment and rehabilitation programs. Dr. Prothrow-Stith and her family lived in Tanzania during her husband’s tenure as U.S. Ambassador where she worked with several local organizations, including Muhimbili National Hospital and an NGO that runs the first HIV clinic in Tanzania.

She is a graduate of Spelman College and Harvard Medical School. She completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Boston City Hospital and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. In 2003, Dr. Prothrow-Stith was elected to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. She has received ten honorary doctorates including ones from Morehouse Medical School and Meharry Medical College. She is the recipient of the 1993 World Health Day Award, the 1989 Secretary of Health and Human Service Award, and a Presidential appointment to the National Commission on Crime Control and Prevention. In 2015, she was inducted into the honor roll of women physicians in the Massachusetts Medical Society.
Education & Training
NIH Awarded Grants
Project TitleProject NumberFY
1. Hertz MF, De Vos E, Cohen L, Davis R, Prothrow-Stith D. Partnerships for preventing violence: a locally-led satellite training model. Am J Prev Med. 2008 Mar; 34(3 Suppl):S21-30.
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2. Rahman S, Hu H, McNeely E, Rahman SM, Krieger N, Waterman P, Peters J, Harris C, Harris CH, Prothrow-Stith D, Gibbs BK, Brown PC, Johnson G, Burgess A, Gragg RD. Social and Environmental Risk Factors for Hypertension in African Americans. Fla Public Health Rev. 2008 Jan 01; 5:64-72.
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3. Cortina MA, Kahn K, Fazel M, Hlungwani T, Tollman S, Bhana A, Prothrow-Stith D, Stein A. School-based interventions can play a critical role in enhancing children's development and health in the developing world. Child Care Health Dev. 2008 Jan; 34(1):1-3.
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4. Prothrow-Stith D. A major step forward in violence prevention. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Aug; 33(2 Suppl):S109-11.
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5. Prothrow-Stith D. Keynote address: making campuses safer communities for students. J Am Coll Health. 2007 Mar-Apr; 55(5):300-3.
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6. Gibbs BK, Nsiah-Jefferson L, McHugh MD, Trivedi AN, Prothrow-Stith D. Reducing racial and ethnic health disparities: exploring an outcome-oriented agenda for research and policy. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2006 Feb; 31(1):185-218.
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7. Hertz MF, Prothrow-Stith D, Chery C. Homicide survivors: research and practice implications. Am J Prev Med. 2005 Dec; 29(5 Suppl 2):288-95.
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8. Trivedi AN, Gibbs B, Nsiah-Jefferson L, Ayanian JZ, Prothrow-Stith D. Creating a state minority health policy report card. Health Aff (Millwood). 2005 Mar-Apr; 24(2):388-96.
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9. Prothrow-Stith D. Strengthening the collaboration between public health and criminal justice to prevent violence. J Law Med Ethics. 2004; 32(1):82-8.
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10. Prothrow-Stith D, Gibbs B, Allen A. Reducing health disparities: from theory to practice. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Mar; 12(3):256s-260s.
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11. Spivak H, Prothrow-Stith D. The need to address bullying-an important component of violence prevention. JAMA. 2001 Apr 25; 285(16):2131-2.
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12. Kawachi I, Kennedy BP, Gupta V, Prothrow-Stith D. Women's status and the health of women and men: a view from the States. Soc Sci Med. 1999 Jan; 48(1):21-32.
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13. Kennedy BP, Kawachi I, Glass R, Prothrow-Stith D. Income distribution, socioeconomic status, and self rated health in the United States: multilevel analysis. BMJ. 1998 Oct 03; 317(7163):917-21.
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14. Kennedy BP, Kawachi I, Prothrow-Stith D, Lochner K, Gupta V. Social capital, income inequality, and firearm violent crime. Soc Sci Med. 1998 Jul; 47(1):7-17.
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15. Kawachi I, Kennedy BP, Lochner K, Prothrow-Stith D. Social capital, income inequality, and mortality. Am J Public Health. 1997 Sep; 87(9):1491-8.
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16. Prothrow-Stith D. A stitch in time. Interview by Kevin Lumsdon. Hosp Health Netw. 1997 Feb 20; 71(4):16.
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17. Kennedy BP, Kawachi I, Lochner K, Jones C, Prothrow-Stith D. (Dis)respect and black mortality. Ethn Dis. 1997; 7(3):207-14.
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18. Prothrow-Stith D. Violence--a public health crisis. Healthc Forum J. 1996 Sep-Oct; 39(5):16-21.
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19. Kennedy BP, Kawachi I, Prothrow-Stith D. Income distribution and mortality: cross sectional ecological study of the Robin Hood index in the United States. BMJ. 1996 Apr 20; 312(7037):1004-7.
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20. Hausman AJ, Spivak H, Prothrow-Stith D. Evaluation of a community-based youth violence prevention project. J Adolesc Health. 1995 Dec; 17(6):353-9.
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21. Hausman AJ, Prothrow-Stith D, Spivak H. Implementation of violence prevention education in clinical settings. Patient Educ Couns. 1995 May; 25(2):205-10.
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22. Prothrow-Stith DB. The epidemic of youth violence in America: using public health prevention strategies to prevent violence. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 1995; 6(2):95-101.
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23. Hausman AJ, Spivak H, Prothrow-Stith D. Adolescents' knowledge and attitudes about and experience with violence. J Adolesc Health. 1994 Jul; 15(5):400-6.
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24. Hausman AJ, Spivak H, Prothrow-Stith D, Roeber J. Patterns of teen exposure to a community-based violence prevention project. J Adolesc Health. 1992 Dec; 13(8):668-75.
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25. Prothrow-Stith D. Can physicians help curb adolescent violence? Hosp Pract (Off Ed). 1992 Jun 15; 27(6):193-6, 199, 202 passim.
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26. Boruch RF, Coleman D, Doria-Ortiz C, Girouard S, Goodman A, Hudson L, Kraus J, Maseru N, Prothrow-Stith D, Rugg DL, et al. Violence prevention strategies targeted at the general population of minority youth. Public Health Rep. 1991 May-Jun; 106(3):247-50.
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27. Prothrow-Stith D. Forum on youth violence in minority communities. Needed: a new pathway to the prevention of violence. Public Health Rep. 1991 May-Jun; 106(3):263-5.
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28. Prothrow-Stith D. The epidemic of violence and its impact on the health care system. Henry Ford Hosp Med J. 1990; 38(2-3):175-7.
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29. Hausman AJ, Spivak H, Roeber JF, Prothrow-Stith D. Adolescent interpersonal assault injury admissions in an urban municipal hospital. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1989 Dec; 5(4):275-80.
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30. Prothrow-Stith D. Adolescents and AIDS. Excerpts from address. J Adolesc Health Care. 1989 May; 10(3 Suppl):5S-7S.
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31. Spivak H, Hausman AJ, Prothrow-Stith D. Practitioners' forum: public health and the primary prevention of adolescent violence--the violence prevention project. Violence Vict. 1989; 4(3):203-12.
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32. Spivak H, Prothrow-Stith D, Hausman AJ. Dying is no accident. Adolescents, violence, and intentional injury. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1988 Dec; 35(6):1339-47.
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33. Bell CC, Prothrow-Stith D, Smallwood-Murchison C. Black-on-black homicide: the National Medical Association's responsibilities. J Natl Med Assoc. 1986 Dec; 78(12):1139-41.
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Funding Opportunities

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