Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD is a Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; the founding Executive Director of The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, New Jersey’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service; and Director of New Jersey's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program (NJLEND).
Dr. Spitalnik holds degrees from Brandeis University, Harvard University, and Temple University, and was a Maternal and Child Fellow at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In her efforts to promote inclusive communities, her work has focused on the intersection between individuals and public policy. She is a co-author of two editions of the classification manual in Intellectual Disability. Dr. Spitalnik has promoted the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities through her research, by developing innovative models for integrating adults with chronic disabilities into managed health care, and the development of curricula and educational materials for professionals and consumers. Course director for the Seminar on Family Centered Care and Developmental Disabilities, Dr. Spitalnik educates a wide range of constituencies and disciplines, including people with disabilities and their families, medical students, resident physicians, direct support professionals, and social workers.
Appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Dr. Spitalnik is immediate past chair of the national Council on Quality and Leadership, previously served as a member and chair of PCPID, and is past president of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Chair of New Jersey’s Medical Assistance Advisory Council, a former trustee of Children’s Specialized Hospital, and serving on numerous state and national committees, she provides extensive consultation to families, policy makers, state agencies, and service providers. Dr. Spitalnik has been recognized by the Dybwad Humanitarian Award of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Verice M. Mason Community Service Leader Award of the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Awards, the Humanitarian Award of The Arc Union County, the Elizabeth Boggs Citizenship Award, and the Ann Klein Distinguished Advocate in Developmental Disabilities Award of the Community Health Law Project.