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Strengthening all parts of the village

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child – supportive parents, well-trained child care workers, friendly and knowledgable doctors and so many others provide the necessary help to get a child off to the right start in life. As we work to make sure all children start off on the right path, we’re looking at the problem from all sides. 

That’s why we’ve been reaching out to pediatric fellows doing their training in the Austin area to make sure they understand what early childhood services are available in our community. The goal is to create greater awareness between doctors serving young children about all the other parts of the village, so more children can get the help they need. 

 “Thanks to this training, I’ve learned more about the importance of a child’s social history in advocating for their wellness.” 

– Cory Henson, pediatric fellow

Cory Henson is just one of nine fellows we’ve talked to this year. Originally from Houston, he says his decision to become a pediatrician stemmed from “my desire to be a voice and advocate for those that may not speak out for themselves,” the same reason we work so hard to advocate young children

 “As a resident, I have a very active role in managing care for young children. We are often identified as the primary face of the medical profession for families,” Cory told us. “Thanks to this training, I’ve learned more about the importance of a child’s social history in advocating for their wellness. This will help me maintain a holistic approach to patient care. Beyond just signs and symptoms, there can be social or environmental contributors affecting their sustained wellness.”

 Cory noted that he was surprise to learn the number of children in our community who are not ready for school when they get there – only half of Austin children are ready to enter school on-track, and that number drops to only 13 percent in low-income neighborhoods .  

“Understanding the resource disparity between different populations has made me sensitive to how these disparities have a direct impact on my patients’ health and development,” he explained. 

Frankly, we couldn’t hope for anything more – so we’ll leave you with Cory’s inspiring words on why helping children is so rewarding: “Children have an empowering exuberance for life and I have had a part with creating opportunities to enjoy said life. I have an active role in preparing children with the tools to lead healthy, happy, rewarding futures.” 

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