April 13—Valley Regional Medical Center-Brownsville and Tip of Texas Family Outreach planted blue pinwheels around the hospital’s main entrance Tuesday morning to raise awareness during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The hospital, Tip of Texas staff and others participated in a brief ceremony, after which they placed the pinwheels around the perimeter of the semi-circle where patients are dropped off and picked up from the hospital.
“What we’re trying to do throughout this month is raise awareness. Child abuse continues to be a problem in all communities, and we’ve unfortunately seen the numbers increase during the pandemic. So it’s about providing support services to families, and we’re looking for businesses, organizations, wherever we may be, to raise awareness,” said Alma Herrera, executive director of Tip of Texas Family Outreach, a child abuse in Brownsville.
Tip of Texas offers emergency services for families, school supplies, food, clothing and other services, as well as free counseling, parenting classes and in-home services for teen parents, a said Herrera.
“It’s about making families more connected, more united, and providing parents with skills to improve communications and strengthen family relationships. Ultimately, of course, we want to reduce the risk of child abuse,” she said.
Citing statistics from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Herrera said 239 children were removed from their homes in Cameron County in 2021. There were 1,195 confirmed victims of child abuse and three deaths among over 5,000 allegations in the county.
Herrera said his agency serves a caseload of 30 to 40 families per month. Services are voluntary unless ordered by the courts.
Hospital staff, including chief executive David Izizarry, said Valley Regional supports any outreach opportunity that provides opportunities for prevention and can ultimately help prevent the tragic cases that sometimes end up in the emergency room. of a hospital.
The event took place as a group of students from Veterans Memorial Early College High School’s medical career and technical education programs arrived and another left.
Students spend an hour in the morning accompanying hospital staff on patient rounds while learning about the medical professions.
The students stood briefly for a photo as part of the observance.