DOVER-FOXCROFT - A new program designed to provide the latest information on the care of children suffering from the trauma of accidental injuries has been named in honor of a Dover-Foxcroft dentist who died last month.
The "Hap" Gerrish Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Registry, established through the Kiwanis Foundation of New England and the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, recognizes the longtime commitment of Dr. Harold "Hap" Gerrish to improving the care of injured children.
Dr. Gerrish, 76, died on June 29. He had been a member of the Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis Club for 49 years and was instrumental in starting the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute at the New England Medical Center some 25 years ago. The New England District of Kiwanis supports KPTI with $250,000 in funding each year, and the Institute's work has helped reduce children's accidental mortality rate by half.
The "Hap" Gerrish Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Registry is an Internet-based web site that expands on the work of KPTI by providing up-to-date data through information technology for any registered health care professional in the world.
Physicians, Emergency Medical Technicians and other health care providers will be able to access, through the registry, information that can help them adequately treat a child, in a timely manner, who has just experienced traumatic injury. Trauma is the #1 cause of death and disability for children, and the registry will provide immediate access to clinical information and a system of secure communication with medical peers.
The registry will also enable any interested health care professional in the world to submit trauma data and participate in the process of investigation of all aspects of childhood injury. This process will help formulate evidence-based guidelines that will be used to implement injury prevention measures, and conduct clinical trials to improve injury treatment outcomes.
"The most important beneficiaries of the project will be the children whose lives will be saved because those to whom their care is entrusted will have better access to critical information," said Dr. Brian Gilchrist, chief of pediatric surgery at New England Medical Center.
The Kiwanis Foundation of New England, of which Dr. Gerrish was a former trustee, has pledged $100,000 per year for the first three years to develop the "Hap" Gerrish Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Registry.
Each Kiwanis Club in the New England District is being asked to commit $1,000 for the coming year to kick off the project, with a parade of gift presentations planned for the New England District convention in August.
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