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Improving children's lives
When Etna, N.H., residents Ken and Vickie French began thinking about a major gift to the Transforming Medicine Campaign, they knew they wanted to make a gift that would have an immediate and significant impact on care in their region. Their $1-million commitment to the Child Advocacy and Protection Program, (CAPP) does just that.
CAPP, a program of the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD), treats and cares for the region's most vulnerable and at-risk children—those who are victims of abuse and neglect. "Child maltreatment tends to be more prevalent in rural settings like ours, where poverty, isolation, and alcoholism are often higher," explains Dr. Kent Hymel, medical director of CAPP."In 2005, child protective services investigated over 12,000 reports of suspected child abuse in New Hampshire and Vermont."
CAPP is the referral center of choice for New Hampshire and Vermont, so its staff are on call 24 hours a day to perform emergency medical evaluations and consult on any case throughout the region where child maltreatment is suspected. In addition, CAPP's multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to care provides a safety net for abused children by ensuring that they and their families receive services to support the healing process, address the root causes of abuse and neglect, and ensure a safe environment for the child."Childabuse work, when done well, involves many professionals within the community working together," explains Hymel.
Through its outreach, education, and training programs, CAPP is working to raise awareness and recognition of child maltreatment in order to ensure that no child suffering from abuse or neglect falls through the cracks. As a result, the number of children cared for by CAPP has grown by well over 100% in the last five years.
Now, CAPP is piloting new initiatives in telemedicine, such as videoconferencing with remote clinics, that will allow its services to more effectively reach children who live in distant areas."If these systems work soundly, then children will be able to get expert assessments regarding suspected child maltreatment close to home," says Hymel. When maltreatment is confirmed, CAPP staff can then advise local physicians in reporting abuse, caring for young victims, and accessing support services for children and their families.
"We cannot begin to provide an adequate level of service for these children without the support of generous community members like the Frenches," says Hymel."Less than 10% of our budget is
Raising the bar
The financial goal of the Transforming Medicine Campaign for Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is to raise $250 million by 2009. Even more far-reaching is its goal of "raising the bar" in medicine. Of questioning assumptions—respecting tradition but not following it blindly. Of erasing boundaries—translating science from the lab bench to the bedside by connecting researchers with clinicians. Of creating solutions to the nation's most critical health-care issues. Of transforming medicine.
Alfred Griggs, chair of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Peter Fahey, a DHMCTrustee and cochair of the Dartmouth College Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience, have assumed leadership of the Transforming Medicine Campaign following the death of Dr. Peter Williamson in June. Both have served on the Transforming Medicine Campaign Executive Committee since the start of the Campaign in 2002.
Griggs and Fahey have stepped forward to lead the Campaign at a time when it is enjoying tremendous momentum. The fiscal year ending June 30, 2008,was a record-breaking one for the Campaign, with over 30,000 donors making gift commitments and grants totaling $55.7 million. This strong support brings the Campaign total to date to over $209 million.
For more about the Transforming Medicine Campaign, visit http://transmed.dartmouth.edu
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Kate Villars is assistant director of development communications for DMS-DHMC.
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