Patient advocacy: Ezra Cohen, MD, an MGHfC resident, at RFDASH
For the sixth year in a row, residents and fellows from pediatric residency programs across the state put their clinical duties on pause to advocate for children during Residents and Fellows Day at the State House (RFDASH) on June 21. A group of 25 MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) staff members organized by residents Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, MD, and Julia von Oettingen, MD, participated in this year’s event, which is sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
"As doctors we advocate for our patients every day, and at this event we can advocate on a larger scale,” says Broder-Fingert. “Legislators need to hear from physicians and physicians-in-training because we have a unique perspective on issues that are vital to the health of children.”
Topics included car safety and the introduction of Natalie’s Bill, which calls for stricter seatbelt law in Massachusetts; the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project, designed to improve access to treatment for children with psychiatric illness; and a bill to support the Act FRESH (FResh Environment to Support Health) Campaign, which aims to create healthier school environments. Residents received lobbying training from Alexandra Calcagno, a AAP lobbyist, before meeting with representatives to discuss the three bills.