New York City Health and Hospitals
A Cross-Sectoral Solution to Youth Violence in East Harlem
Children in conflict often get hurt at the intersection of systems that are supposed to nourish and protect them. A school altercation is allowed to escalate. The police come bearing handcuffs. A child is brought for dearth of options to the hospital. The triage nurse registers a complaint of danger to self, resulting in transfer of the individual into a locked-down psychiatric facility, meant for adults. The end of the line facility in this scenario is Metropolitan Emergency Department in East Harlem but this might as well be anywhere. Caring adult professionals with community partners must commit to a cross-sectoral approach to problems that put children’s health and development first. For this particular problem we establish conflict resolution programs in Harlem schools, youth-centered protocols for how police deal with children and a separate pediatric psychiatric assessment area in Metropolitan’s Emergency Department.
MORE ABOUT WILSON
Dr. Wang’s first job out of University was as a middle school science teacher in urban Oakland. The lessons he learned in the classroom on social health determinants became the backdrop for a 12-year career in clinical pediatrics, health system design, and public health. Dr. Wang will do anything for the health of children starting with the obvious: Putting children first.