Joshua Sparrow, M.D., DFAACAP, is executive director of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) in the Division of Development of Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he also holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Sparrow’s care in the 1990s for children hospitalized for severe psychiatric disturbances, often associated with physical and sexual abuse, and for developmental delays aggravated by social and economic deprivation, prompted his interest in the social determinants of health, and community-based prevention and health promotion. He is principal investigator on numerous foundation grants and has lectured nationally and internationally, written numerous scholarly papers, as well as books and articles for the general public. He has advised government agencies, nonprofits, and philanthropies, is a board member of Parents as Teachers and serves on the advisory boards of the Association for State and Tribal Home Visiting Initiative and Rapid Response Virtual Home Visiting.
At the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, his work focuses on cultural adaptations of family support programs, organizational professional development, and aligning systems of care with community strengths and priorities. Examples include collaborative consultation with the Harlem Children’s Zone and Tribal Early Head Start/Head Start Programs among others. BTC provides professional and leadership development, organizational learning and change, and research and evaluation for family-facing professionals in pediatrics, early childhood, infant mental health, home visiting, and child welfare. BTC is home to the Touchpoints Approach, the Brazelton Institute (Newborn Behavioral Observation and Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale), Family Connections, and the BTC Research and Evaluation team.