Pediatric Community Services and Events
In addition to caring for patients at the hospital, Pediatric Services provides the following community awareness and educational program:
- Child Protection Team
- Child abuse prevention
- Infant sleep safety
- Shaken Baby Prevention and Awareness
- Fit Families at MedStar Franklin Square
- Reach Out and Read
- Community health assessment
- Back-to-School Rally for Health
In 2000 the Department of Pediatrics founded one of the few community hospital based Child Protection Teams (CPT) in the country. The CPT provides 24/7 social work coverage for child abuse cases in the pediatric or inpatient unit. The hospital evaluates all victims of acute (<72 hours) child sexual abuse in Baltimore County and provides diagnostic and evaluative services for the local department of social services for children who have been suspected of being physically abused or neglected. Annually, the program serves over 300 children and conducts multidisciplinary, collaborative team meetings with local agencies to improve systems-based responses to abused children.
In addition to the child abuse evaluation, in 2003 the department began to also focus on child abuse prevention. A newborn nursery Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) Prevention Program was started to teach all parents of newborns about how to cope with crying infants. All parents who deliver at MedStar Franklin Square receive a brochure and counseling about shaking infants, strategies to cope with crying infants, and the opportunity to watch a prevention video. Additionally, each parent signs a commitment statement to educate all caregivers of their child about the dangers of shaking infants. Our implementation effort has lead to an increase in signed statements from 70% in 2004 to 98% this past year. Our department has hosted five AHT prevention symposiums with national leaders and helped lead the county prevention coalition since 2004.
In collaboration with the Office of Injury Prevention of the Baltimore County Health Department and local child fatality review team, MedStar Franklin Square has lead the way in preventing sleep related deaths. Up to 80% of non-neonatal deaths of infants in our county are a result of unsafe sleep positions, and our department premiered prevention efforts in 2006 and have now implemented a parallel program to the AHT prevention efforts. In 2007 we cut the rate of infants dying from a sleep related cause in half.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. The syndrome results from injuries caused by someone vigorously shaking an infant, usually for five to 20 seconds, causing brain damage. Sadly, children who endure violent shaking have a poor prognosis for complete recovery. Those who survive may experience permanent blindness, mental retardation, seizure disorders or loss of motor control.
Every new parent at MedStar Franklin Square receives education about SBS, and the hospital team requests that each parent voluntarily sign an affidavit stating that she/he received the information. The affidavit allows them to accurately monitor outcomes. For more information, call 443-777-7127.
In 2006, we began our pediatric weight management program. This program utilizes a team approach between a pediatrician, dietician, and an exercise specialist to emphasize healthy nutrition and physical fitness to families. Overweight children in our community now have a local resource. Community physicians can refer overweight children to our nutritionist for a comprehensive evaluation in an office setting. If interested, these families can join the fit families evening program, which is a four week course on healthy nutrition and physical exercise. Since its inception over 200 children have participated.
Our department started the first Reach Out and Read (ROAR) program in Baltimore County in 2000. Initially, one site, the Family Health Center, participated in the program. Now, the program has expanded to include MedStar Franklin Square Pediatrics at Perry Hall and the Healthcare for the Homeless sites. The MedStar Franklin Square ROAR program gives out 4,000 books each year and is the largest in the county. The pediatrician leader of the program is a national center trainer, and she aids in the start up of other programs. Learn more about Reach Out and Read.
A final community effort to highlight has been the collaboration with local agencies for needs assessment and health improvement of children in the area. The first effort focused on early childhood outcomes such as school readiness and health indicators. MedStar Franklin Square's pediatric department joined a broad coalition brought together by the county's Local Management Board to assess the current resources for and long-term goals for early childhood health, education, and wellness. A comprehensive report for the county was produced comparing county indicators, services, and long term goals.
One outcome of this effort was the creation of a website to link all of the county's services for young children, http://www.focusonthefirstyears.org. More recently, MedStar Franklin Square lead a comprehensive health assessment of eastern Baltimore County for all ages with a coalition of community and governmental agencies. The department of pediatrics led the coalition of local and state agencies, healthcare professionals, and community groups in a complete health assessment of the community utilizing the MAPP approach (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) as endorsed by the CDC and National Association of County and City Health Officials. We identified 23 indicators and collected comparative data for our community with the rest of Baltimore County and the State of Maryland on to produced a 127 page summary of the health status of eastern Baltimore County that is now being used by public and private agencies as a road map to improve the health of the community.
Each year MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center hosts the Back-to-School Rally for Health for kids and parents in the community. This health and safety fair provides information/activities including, but not limited to:
- MedStar Franklin Square Services
- MRSA/Hand washing
- Fire Safety
- Car Seat Safety
- Poison Control
- Dental Screening
- Asthma Fair
- Physical Activities
For more information, visit medstarfranklin.org/rallyforhealth.
For more information about Pediatric Services at MedStar Franklin Square, call 443-777-7128.