JAMA Pediatrics Commentary Highlights Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Child Health Policy

At the conclusion of a two-year term, after members of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities traveled the country to hear first-hand accounts of how individuals and communities are working to reduce child abuse fatalities, they were left in one hand with a trove of rich anecdotal evidence of local intervention strategies for child abuse prevention, and in the other, a lack of scientifically-validated evidence to support an effective intervention approach for fatality prevention. This imbalance presented a dilemma for developing recommendations to address this urgent issue.  

As one of 12 federally-appointed commissioners, PolicyLab Director Dr. David Rubin knew that while the commission lacked definitive evidence for the recommendations they ultimately developed for the White House and Congress, it would have been a mistake to disregard the cumulative testimony they heard. In a new commentary, Dr. Rubin notes that while translating scientific evidence to policy is the goal of PolicyLab, this experience taught him that this effort must be reflective of the valuable real-world experience of people at the local level and considered within the context of the demanding policy arena.

You can read more about his thoughts on this in a commentary published in JAMA Pediatrics.