(Boston)--The Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has been honored with the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) 2014 Health Care Delivery Award.
The award recognizes an outstanding program or system of health care that is both innovative and effective and provides health care in the context of a teaching environment. Judges "were impressed that the programs represented the overall mission of quality health care delivery for especially at-risk populations over the span of 30-plus years."
Despite the expansion of health insurance to nearly 98 percent of children in Massachusetts, low-income children still experience disproportionately more illnesses, hospitalizations, low birth weight and school failure due to the impact of poverty compared to more affluent peers. In the early 90s, BMC's Department of Pediatrics decided to transform its child health care delivery system to prevent problems for low-income, primarily minority, patients by developing new services to eliminate or at least reduce adverse effects of selective aspects of poverty.
These programs have been sustained for more than 30 years and have been adopted by other hospitals and clinics across the country. They include Reach Out and Read to promote early childhood development; Medical-Legal Partnership and HealthLeads to ensure families receive entitled basic needs; a food pantry and Baby Friendly status to ensure nutrition; Child Witness to Violence Project to reduce the effects on children who witness violence; and the Kids Fund to provide philanthropy directly to families.
"This recognizes the Department for its outstanding leadership in the area of child health," said Robert Vinci, MD, chief and chair of pediatrics at BMC and BUSM. "I have witnessed firsthand the remarkable contributions that our Department has made to better the lives of our most vulnerable patients."
The APA is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all children and adolescents by promoting research, advancing a scholarly approach to education, developing innovations in health care delivery, advocating for an equitable child health agenda, and fostering leadership and career development of child health professionals.