The promise of a new year is always exciting. The unlimited potential of the next 12 months is like an unmarked canvas, waiting for us to leave our mark.
As a world leader in science driven care, Children’s Hospital Boston has a dedicated staff that sees 2011 as yet another opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of children. Here are a few of their pediatric hopes for the upcoming year, and in some cases, advice on how we can all help them come true.
“My wish for the new year is that all children, no matter their background, their ethnicity, their religion or other circumstances be given the opportunity to grow into healthy, happy and secure adults.”
James Mandell, MD, Children’s Hospital Boston CEO
“My wish is for the physicians, nurses, researchers and staff who have devoted their lives to the care and curing of children around the world. My hope is that they continue to be inspired, and remain passionate and devoted to their work in the face of disappointment, obstacles and criticism. We are honored to encourage and support your efforts for the kids and families we serve.”
Sandra Fenwick, Children’s president, COO
“Media coverage of suicide in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) youth has increased drastically in 2010, although these incidents have been a sad reality for society for quite some time. Hopefully 2011 will see a decrease in this trend as youth experience less environmental invalidation and more comfort to express who they are, even if it means they’re different. Clinicians can enhance this through education and outreach.”
Scott Leibowitz, MD, Psychiatrist and liaison to Children’s Gender Management Service
“Despite the steady advances made in medicine, many children lack access to basic medications and services that have been proven to reduce illness and save lives. Whether we are talking about providing vaccinations against preventable diseases such as diphtheria in places like Haiti, or making asthma medicine more affordable here at home, these are things that will improve health, and quality of life, and for some prove lifesaving.”
Dennis Rosen MD, Division of Respiratory Diseases, Associate Director of Children’s Sleep Disorders Program
“The new health care legislation of 2010 guarantees that young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. This will help our pediatric patients maintain coverage as they transition into adult health care. So my wish for 2011 is that all young adults, especially those with chronic illness, continue to receive the primary and specialty care they need.”
Kitty O’Hare, MD, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, Children’s Martha Eliot Health Center
“My hope for the New Year is that parents listen earnestly when their children ask what more we can do to better care for the irreplaceable gifts that nature affords us. Because after all, so much of our health, and even more of theirs, is dependent on it.”
Aaron Bernstein, MD MPH, Children’s Center for Health and the Global Environment
“My wish for 2011 is that parents and kids find time and ways to really enjoy each other.”
Claire McCarthy, MD, medical director of Children’s Martha Eliot Health Center.
“On my wish list would be more emphasis on prevention–this includes injury prevention, but also means obesity prevention and asthma prevention. As we consider the burgeoning costs of health care in the US, improving our efforts at prevention is paramount to trying to improve health care costs and spending. I’d also like to see better mental health services for children and adolescents and their families. There are so many children and teenagers who need these services, and not nearly enough places for them to go.”
Lois Lee, MD, MPH, Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program
“Drug and alcohol use is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for adolescents, but there is good evidence that physicians can do something about it – if they can make the time during routine office visits to broach the topic. My wish is that as we progress with health care reform we have the wisdom to recognize the importance of spending time screening teenagers for drug use, listening to them and providing sound advice.”
Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, Children’s Adolescence Substance Abuse Program
What about you? What are some of your hopes for 2011, and how can we work together to see those dreams achieved? Please share your ideas with us in our comments section.