202966 Role of MCH in Serving Families Affected by War and in Creating a Culture of Peace

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:42 PM

Richard Allan Aronson, MD, MPH , Inspiring New Generation Public Health Leaders, Humane Worlds Center for Maternal and Child Health, Hallowell, ME
Christopher A. Kus, MD, MPH , Division of Family Health, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
War and social injustice related to war have a profound impact on Maternal and Child Health. Since 2001, hundreds of thousands of parents have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are part of a U.S. military that has a greater percentage of mothers and fathers than in any other war. Of roughly 263,000 people deployed overseas, 43 % are parents. Children with a parent at war are vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other effects, some of which may last throughout their lives and pass to future generations. There is an urgent need for MCH and State Maternal and Child Health leaders to place this issue front and center on our agenda. In 2008, at the Association of MCH Programs Annual Meeting, we formed a peace and social justice MCH work group. War is part of the continuum of violence prevention that is integral to MCH. We seek partnerships with military families and military agencies that provide MCH services, including mental health. If we cooperate in new ways, we can make a difference in families, communities, and at the national level. Our long-term goal,consistent with public health's essence, is the primary prevention of war. This means the creation of a culture of peace at all levels. In our workshop, we 1) report on the work of our group to date; 2) highlight an educational initiative to raise urgency for action; 3) bring family voices and cultural competence into our dialogue; and 4) propose action steps for the MCH community to take.

Learning Objectives:
To better understand: 1) The impact of war on the MCH population; and 2) The urgency to make the creation of a culture of peace an MCH priority.

Keywords: Pediatrics, War

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Long-time member and leader Physicians for Social responsibility Leader in raising war and peace as MCH National Priority in the Association of MCH Programs
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: War and Public Health
See more of: Peace Caucus