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When most people think of doctors, they think of shots and medicines. But physicians have an opportunity to address health on a much deeper level. They can address social problems, like financial stress and poverty, as the health problems they are by reaching across sectors to collaborate with business, not-for-profits, and government. One example of this approach is partnering with accountants to provide free tax preparation and access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, the largest anti-poverty program in America, in pediatric offices.


About the Speaker

Lucy Marcil

Lucy Marcil

Lucy Marcil, MD MPH, creates innovative solutions buffering kids from the adversity they face growing up with economic stress and poverty. As a pediatrician, she cares for children at Boston Medical Center.

She co-founded StreetCred, a nonprofit addressing the the health impact of financial stress by providing fiscal services to low-income families in the the doctor’s waiting room. StreetCred increases access to critical anti-poverty tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit by integrating tax preparation services into pediatric clinics; it has returned over $3.2 million to 1700 clients at 9 sites in 4 states since its inception in 2016. StreetCred is now bundling tax services with enrollment in other economic mobility services to create greater financial stability.

Internationally, she has undertaken pediatric health-systems strengthening. As a HIV/AIDS & Community Health Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia, she leveraged public-private partnerships to create a comprehensive orphan care program and girls’ leadership camps. In Bangladesh, she identified community engagement methods to build maternal-child healthcare systems in urban slums. In Kenya, she consulted for Jacaranda Health to transform newborn care systems.

Dr. Marcil is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and a Fellow in the Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family at Boston Medical Center. She has published in RealClear Policy, The Atlantic, Pediatrics, and JAMA Pediatrics, among others. Her work has been discussed on the BBC, in The Boston Globe, Fast Company, and Quartz.

For her work, she has been recognized with the American Academy of Pediatrics Anne E. Dyson Child Advocacy Award, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Quinn Prize and named a Café 100, Davidson College Game Changer, and 2018 Ted Fellow.