On April 15, 2013, Dr. Stavas approached the finish line of her fifth Boston marathon. Just blocks away, she heard explosions and ran toward them. Arriving at the scene she went to work administering CPR, applying tourniquets, and triaging the wounded. Her actions that day saved multiple human lives. 


Following the terrorist attack, President Barack Obama, Katie Couric, and Anderson Cooper honored Natalie 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. ​


She is an inspirational speaker who inspires audiences with her "You Run Toward" attitude. Natalie approaches life in the same way. She says, "You run towards that which you fear, that which challenges you, that which is oppositional.” Natalie teaches audiences skills to find calm within internal or external chaos, choose to "run towards" it every day, and find meaning inside our sometimes chaotic lives. 


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 toward a path of fulfillment in medicine. Her research on caring for vulnerable children has won awards and has been highlighted by 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 well-being.

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