Hey PHILADELPHIA! Congratulations!
I am so happy to read about Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health and Cindy Christian, M.D. who won this year's international Ray E. Helfer Award for physicians dedicated to treating and preventing child abuse. The Ray E. Helfer Society's mission is "to help prevent and reduce the harm resulting from child maltreatment, by advancing the work of physicians in the areas of education, clinical care, research, and advocacy."
Dr. Christian of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was recognized this month for developing and then bringing to doctors' offices "an educational program to help 'front line' healthcare providers recognize and respond effectively to child abuse and neglect cases." She also co-edited the third edition of the classic text Child Abuse: Medical Diagnosis and Management and has made significant additions to the knowledge base of child maltreatment prevention.
Moreover, Safe Place is staffed by an interdisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, social workers and other hospital personnel designed to provide the best care to children and families dealing with child abuse or neglect.
Hooray team! Could we ask for anything more?
Cooperation among health care providers and those who work to protect children in all cases is key to recognizing and eliminating this epidemic in our society. Have no doubt, people, it is epidemic. According to The Children's Wall of Tears founders Jane Lemond Alvarez and Leo Alvarez, 2500 children are killed each month at the hands of parents, caregivers and/or boyfriends and girlfriends of the parents.
And my own research reveals that those who are maltreated or abused as children are pre-disposed biologically and physiologically to adult physical illness. (See The ACE Study), I hate to keep repeating the same thing over and over again, but we all need to stop the cycle at its core - at home and in the courts who return children to their abusers over and over again.
Thank you, Dr. Cindy Christian and Safe Place. Let's see if this model can be copied all over the world!