As we approach the summer months, which are often a time of increased violence in our communities, it is especially important to consider how we can keep our kids safe. On June 27th, Boston Children’s Hospital will hold their monthly Advocacy Lunch & Learn, a monthly lunchtime talk series that focuses on a different child health policy matter each month. This month’s session will feature a panel of diverse experts, who will discuss the implications that their public policy, research and community engagement initiatives have on keeping our kids safe from violence.
Meet the panelists:
Boston Public Health Commission’s own Director of the Division of Violence Prevention, Catherine Fine, will discuss her experiences running the Violence Intervention and Prevention initiative, which takes place in four sub-neighborhoods of Boston with high levels of gang activity and youth violence. The program aims to reduce youth violence through promoting increased community engagement and helping to provide more access to youth employment and summer and after-school programs.
Boston Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Eric Fleeger, a physician in the emergency department, will discuss his recent study on the connection between gun control legislation and gun fatalities. Results showed that there were fewer gun fatalities in states with more laws on the books, including in Massachusetts. This is one of the first studies of its kind published by a team of physicians, and presents both an important conclusion and a need for further research.
State Representative David Linsky (Democrat – Natick) will follow by discussing the gun violence prevention legislation he recently introduced in the Massachusetts legislature. His bill, “An Act to Reduce Gun Violence and to Protect the Citizens of the Commonwealth,” focuses on closing existing loopholes in state law, strengthening licensing and background check requirements, and increasing penalties for crimes and violations.
Touching on the policy, research and community perspective, this discussion will truly be comprehensive and useful for child health advocates interested in learning about the resources available and actions they may be able to take in order to keep kids safe from violence.
The Lunch & Learn will take place on June 27th from 12:30-1:30 in the Farley 133 Conference Room on the main campus of Boston Children’s Hospital. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.