Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Beach and team who were awarded a MEDCARES grant for 18 months, renewable for up to 5 years, for 1.6 million dollars (assuming the program continues to be renewed.)
The purposes of the program are to support activities which support the assessment, prevention and mitigation of child abuse,and to create and implement educational programs for professionals (medical, legal, law enforcement and CPS) and community partners.
This grant will enhance and contribute to the bottom line of things we, at UTMB, are often already doing. Like the prevention and intervention of child abuse, the support of our Foster Care Clinic. This grant will also support a few things that will benefit our community like patient education, community education and the support and promotion of community resources to help care-takes of children that need shelter, food, safety, and healthcare to name a few.
MEDCARES programs are in academic medical centers where providers have advanced training and expertise in child abuse evaluations. Grant funds can be used to support the time of professionals who provide comprehensive medical evaluations including psycho-social assessments and treatment. Case management for children and their families is supported.
One of the most exciting aspects is to develop programs which can prevent child abuse. We hope to help parents have a better understanding of normal child development (such as the amount of time infants cry in 24 hours, or the vast range in age for becoming successfully potty-trained.) We hope to help parents avoid unsafe settings or unsafe people. Avoiding these risks can decrease accidents, which sometimes mimic abusive injuries. Many parents are at a loss to find successful ways to discipline their children and we hope to help with that as well.
The program supports time to provide a variety of educational outreach programs and strengthens ties with our professional partners. Opportunities for teaching medical students and residents is also part of the program. We anticipate using technology, and our pediatric educational website to make educational resources available to various learners.