Dr. Natalie Stavas serves as the Program Director for Child Protection Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. She specializes in work with vulnerable children, victims of abuse, and decreasing youth violence.
Described as a healer, educator, and Boston community leader she received the 2012 Change Maker award from The Boston Foundation.
On April 15, 2013, Dr. Stavas approached the finish line of her fifth Boston marathon. Just blocks away, she heard explosions and ran towards them. Arriving at the scene she went to work administering CPR, applying tourniquets, and triaging the wounded.
Following this event, President Barack Obama, Katie Couric, and Anderson Cooper honored her for her actions. Improper Bostonian magazine named Dr. Stavas one of “Boston’s Best” and The Boston Globe awarded her with “2013 Bostonian of the Year” – an honor bestowed upon those that shape the biggest story of the year in a remarkable way.
After the bombings, Dr. Stavas increased her efforts in preventing childhood violence. She became a weekly medical contributor for Boston’s Fox 25- discussing issues affecting children and young adults, a mentor for Sole Train- a non-profit guiding inner-city youth on a path towards their full potential through running. In early 2014 she helped partner Prescription for the Outdoors with Boston Medical Center’s pediatric team.
This advocacy goes beyond borders- traveling to Haiti throughout the year Dr. Stavas provided medical care to children and helped strengthen their fragile medical infrastructure. A documentary featuring this work as a medical pioneer premiered at the 2014 South by Southwest film festival.
Dr. Stavas is currently a leader in education and research. She serves as the Program Director for Child Protection Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. In this role she mentors medical students, residents, and fellows towards a path of fulfillment in medicine. Her research on caring for vulnerable children has won awards and been highlighted on multiple media outlets. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Stavas has focused her research on how COVID-19 is affecting children’s health as well as physical wellbeing.
Dr. Stavas has been featured in Runner’s World, The New York Times, LA Times, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, Time, and People magazine.