Injury Prevention

Petit Fellows Share and Inspire

By: Garry Lapidus, PA-C, MPH

Every summer, my understanding of the importance of the field of injury prevention grows deeper as I watch our Hayley Petit Injury & Violence Prevention fellows learn and grow.

This summer’s fellows were Pranally Desai of Farmington, Connecticut, Callista Love of Bolton, Connecticut, Sydney Osborne of New Haven, Connecticut, and Elizabeth Tavares of Holyoke, Massachusetts. They gave a powerful final presentation detailing the highlights of their five weeks spent shadowing our injury prevention experts at Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center (IPC) and presenting research proposals in their areas of interest.

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At the end of every summer, we always ask the fellows to reflect on their experience, which included attending weekly staff meetings at the IPC; attending Pediatric Grand Rounds sessions sponsored by Connecticut Children’s; shadowing clinical providers in our emergency department; visiting the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; and learning from our community outreach workers. The experience is designed to ensure that every day offers a different learning opportunity in order to maximize the fellows’ time here.

This year’s fellows appreciated the mix of clinical work, policy work and advocacy as highlights of their experience. Another highlight was learning about child passenger safety, which allowed the fellows to see how complex the process of installing car seats can be and how stressful it can be for first-time parents.

“This experience has opened my eyes, mind, and heart to the world of injury and violence prevention, stated Callista Love. “As an aspiring physician, I cannot imagine going forward in my future practice without implementing some of the educational methods and public health work we have learned in these five weeks. Although my professional career is many years away, I now have the power to incite change locally by encouraging those around me to wear helmets, drive sober, and be aware of the signs of an unhealthy relationship.”

Learn more about the Hayley Petit Injury & Violence Prevention Fellowship.

We are thankful that the Petit Family Foundation continues to provide support for these fellowships. We are eager to expand the fellowships to a year-round learning opportunity. Going forward, we will be able to offer the fellowships during the summer, as well as during the fall and spring semesters. Expanding the learning opportunity will expand the number of future medical providers who will learn the importance of injury and violence prevention in maintaining the health and well-being of children and their families.

Learn more about past Fellowships recipients.

Garry Lapidus, PA-C, MPH, is the director of Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, which is a program of Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child health. Lapidus is also an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at the UConn School of Medicine.

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