More than 60 pediatric residents from Boston area hospitals — including the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) — gathered at the Massachusetts State House April 8 to advocate for children's health care at the 3rd annual Pediatric Residents and Fellows Day. The residents met with and heard speeches from legislators and others — including Director of the Harvard Center for the Developing Child, Jack Shonkoff, MD; former State Representative and current Executive Director of Health Care for All, John McDonough, DPH; and State Representatives Peter Koutoujian and Ruth Balser — who highlighted issues regarding childhood obesity, mental health and booster seat legislation.
"Children can't vote, so they often are overlooked in the legislative process," said event organizer and MGHfC resident Anna Rosenquist, MD. "As pediatricians, we are excited to advocate on behalf of the children." Speaking of the group's focus on a school nutrition bill, MGHfC resident and event co-organizer Alenka Zeman, MD, said, "The school system is an important area where policymakers can improve childhood nutrition. Although we can't always control what foods children eat at home, we can control what our government serves them at school."
The 2008 Residents Day at the State House was sponsored by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to Rosenquist and Zeman, other MGHfC residents involved with coordinating the event were Emily Kung, MD; Ariel Frey, MD; Catherine Aftandilian, MD; Shilpa McManus, MD; Miranda Ip, MD; Emily Gregory, MD; Robin Ryther, MD; Erin Mahony, MD; Michele Duke, MD, and Suzanne Boxer, MD. Faculty advisors were Shannon Scott-Vernaglia, MD, and Alexy Arauz Boudreau, MD.
RESIDENT ADVOCATES: Front row, from left, Mahony and Katie Zuckerman, MD. Second row, from left, Jess Kaplan, MD; Ip; Kung; and Aftandilian. Third row, from left, Ashley Campion, MD; Zeman; and Rosenquist. Fourth row, from left, Heather Diskin, MD; and Ryther. Top row, Deborah Mitchell, MD.