LOUISVILLE, Ky. (News Release) -- For decades the University of Louisville and Kosair Charities have partnered to help meet the health care needs of children throughout the state. What may surprise some people is that these efforts go beyond the delivery of care and research of new treatments to include advocacy efforts for children.
For more than five years, Kosair Charities has helped support the UofL Department of Pediatrics' child abuse pediatricians. In recognition of that support and the ongoing commitment to ensure that children are free of abuse and neglect, the child abuse prevention program now will be known as the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine.
"The professionals in this program fight every day to end child abuse and neglect," said Gerard Rabalais, M.D., chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics. "Through partnerships with community organizations, law enforcement agencies, health care providers, Child Protective Services and the Department of Justice, suspected cases of abuse and/or neglect are aggressively investigated so that the tragedy of child abuse is eliminated from Kentucky."
"More than five years ago, Dr. Rabalais brought forward the idea of a partnership with Kosair Charities to create a program designed to eliminate child abuse and neglect," said Jerry Ward, chairman of the board of Kosair Charities. "With a mission of protecting the health and well-being of children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, we immediately agreed. The importance of this program cannot be understated and all of us at Kosair Charities are honored that the University of Louisville would recognize our contribution to the cause in such a significant manner."
The Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine is the state's only physical abuse and neglect assessment program. The formal consultation service provides medical expertise on the diagnosis, documentation and follow-up of suspected cases of child physical abuse and neglect.
The division director, Melissa Currie, M.D., is nationally recognized for her expertise in the field. She serves on Gov. Steve Beshear's review panel that investigates fatalities and near-fatalities found to be the result of abuse or neglect. Currie was among the first group of pediatricians nationwide to be board-certified in child abuse pediatrics and Kentucky's first board-certified child abuse pediatrician.
"Without understanding the underlying signs that point toward abuse or neglect, there are cases that can go undetected," Currie said. "Our partnership with Kosair Charities allows us to have the resources we need to see that doesn't happen. It is such an honor to be affiliated with a group with such a strong commitment to the well-being of children.
"In addition to their support for our program and many others, Kosair Charities has recently assembled a coalition of community leaders who are working on a multi-faceted, comprehensive effort to address child abuse. Their vision is that by 2023 all children in Kentucky will be free from abuse and neglect. Great things happen when we all work together, and particularly when we have the unwavering support of a Kosair Charities-a fixture in Louisville for 90 years."
"Our combined efforts to fight child abuse and neglect again demonstrate the strength of the alliance between Kosair Charities and the University of Louisville as we work to enhance the health and well-being of children," said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., UofL executive vice president for health affairs.