A Message from the Chair of Pediatrics on National Child Health Day

“Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.” — Fred Rogers, television personality

“Children are our most valuable resource.” — Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States

“Each child belongs to all of us…” – Maya Angelou, Poet and author

Spend any amount of time with a young child and you’ll come away with a whole new perspective on life. They bring such a sense of curiosity and imagination to their ever-evolving world. Each new experience is wondrous to them. Observe them visiting a zoo for the first time or simply eating a dripping ice cream cone on a hot summer day is a joy to behold.

Every child deserves a healthy environment to grow mentally, physically and spiritually to reach their full potential. In recognition of National Child Health Day Monday, Oct. 4, I encourage you to foster and promote a healthy lifestyle in your child. Imitation is most sincere form of flattery, and children mirror the actions and behaviors modeled by their parents or caregivers. Today and every day, be that shining example for your child. Eat those vegetables. Take them on an invigorating hike through the woods. Smile and hold a door open for a stranger. Schedule routine checkups for you and your child.

The Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, the region’s only children’s hospital, is a place that we hope you never have to visit … but we take tremendous pride in knowing we are here in case your child should ever need world-class care, close to home. Our children’s hospital, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, is devoted exclusively to the medical needs of infants, children and teens. It is the referral center for any child from the 25 counties in upstate New York and western New England, and especially those who are seriously sick or injured children. We are staffed by over 140 physicians trained in 40 subspecialties and more than 400 pediatric nurses, respiratory therapists, counselors, social workers, child life specialists and others who provide the unique care needed by children and teens.

I often say that we know we have succeeded in our jobs when a child turns to a parent upon leaving our children’s hospital and innocently asks when they come can back again to “play.” When you subtly combine creative play, imagination, health and healing you truly have accomplished something special.

On behalf of our children’s hospital, I highly encourage you to make every day National Child Health Day.

Kind regards,

Barbara E. Ostrov, MD
Martha Lepow, MD Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics
Chief of Service
Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital
Albany Medical Center