Doctors Speak Out: Child Health & Public Policy

in Health & Medicine, News Releases, School of Medicine
April 8th, 2004

Contact: Robert Brogna, (617) 638-8491 | Robert.Brogna@bmc.org

(Boston, Mass.) – Today, pediatricians from Boston Medical Center (BMC) hosted a legislative briefing at the State House to share the results of their research and clinical experience with state legislators.

The briefing, “Doctors Speak Out: Child Health & Public Policy,” featured remarks by Senator Jarrett T. Barrios, Barry Zuckerman, MD, chief of Pediatrics at BMC, Lauren Smith, MD, pediatrician and medical director of the Family Advocacy Program at BMC, and Megan Sandel, MD, pediatrician at BMC.

“Although all children are affected by public policies, there are groups of children who are especially sensitive to the impact of these policies on their basic needs,” said Lauren Smith, MD, pediatrician and medical director of the Family Advocacy Program at BMC. “We know that when children do not receive needed benefits, they suffer health consequences.”

The doctors identified these children and provided detailed recommendations on how to maintain their health and promote their normal growth and development. Those at most risk include:

• Children with chronic medical, developmental or mental health conditions
• Children who are uninsured or who experience gaps in insurance
• Children who are homeless or live in substandard housing
• Children who suffer food insecurity and poor growth

Boston Medical Center serves a diverse and potentially vulnerable population of children and their families. BMC pediatricians and child health researchers observe the impact of public policy on children’s health and shared the results of their clinical experience and research with legislators and policy makers.

For a copy of the Executive Summary from this briefing, or to speak with any of the physicians, please call Dr. Lauren Smith at (617) 414-7911 or Rob Brogna at (617) 638-8491.

Doctors Speak Out: Child Health & Public Policy was sponsored by:
The Massachusetts Legislative Children’s Caucus
The Joint Committee on Human Services & Elderly Affairs
The Women in Poverty Task Force of the Caucus of Women Legislators
Boston Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics

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