Center for Public Health Policy and Practice

Stephen J. Pont, MD, MPH, FAAP

Dr. Stephen Pont

Stephen Pont, MD, MPH is passionate about working towards good health for all through clinical care, education, policy, and research.

Since returning to Austin 14 years ago, Dr. Pont has worked to improve the health of children, families, and communities with a focus on underserved and Spanish speaking populations. Through working in Federally Qualified Health Centers in East Austin and by serving as the medical director for Austin Independent School District, he and colleagues recognized the need for clinical and community-based childhood obesity programs in Central Texas. Dr. Pont then co-founded and served as the medical director for Dell Children’s Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, which grew to include nationally recognized multidisciplinary individual and group family-based programs for children. Nationally, he co-founded and served as the inaugural chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Obesity. He has been an investigator or center director on more than $75 million of philanthropic, CDC, NIH, and Medicaid 1115 Waiver funding. Federal grants have included the CDC Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project that tested a systems-based childhood obesity intervention that linked primary care offices, schools, YMCAs, and community-based interventions in Austin and Houston.

Dr. Pont completed a BA in Biology with a concentration in Spanish from UT Austin, MD from UT Southwestern, pediatric residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and a research fellowship and Master of Public Health at Vanderbilt. Dr. Pont is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health with the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and Adjunct Associate Professor with Texas A&M College of Medicine. In 2017 he joined the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) executive team and began serving as the Medical Director for the Office of Science and Population Health. For the 2020 DSHS COVID response Dr. Pont served as the Acting State Epidemiologist from February through December of 2020 and continues as a member of Texas’ Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel. Dr. Pont recently transitioned to lead the newly formed DSHS Center for Public Health Policy and Practice, which includes the preventive medicine residency program, DSHS Public Health Library, Continuing Education and Continuing Medical Education Programs, the DSHS Institutional Review Board, Policy Analyses, Health Disparities, Health Economics, and Performance Management.

In his free time, Dr. Pont enjoys playing the guitar, learning martial arts with his sons and wife, and an annual mission trip to Guatemala with his church where he and his wife collaborate with a Mayan community development non-profit to teach a lay midwife training program.