Category: Children's Health, Health Magazine

Title:Editor’s Letter

Author: Jane Varner Malhotra | Co-editor, Georgetown Health
Date Published: November 8, 2021
Co-Editor Malhotra and her children
In 2005 in Washington, D.C., Helen, Albert, Jane, Mabel, and Zoe Malhotra. Photo: Amit Malhotra

As a mother of four, I have lots of memories of visits to the pediatrician. We moved seven times in the first 15 years of our marriage, so I had the privilege of getting to know a lot of different practices. We had excellent but varying care in every place, including a year in Berlin, Germany with a pediatrician who made house calls.

At each birth, including one C-section, I had a midwife at my side. In every case, we had a different pediatrician welcoming the new arrival. They represented a range of generations and cultures, but our German one was legendary. My Berlin baby was born at a geburtshaus, a birthing center more like a cozy private home than a hospital. Four hours later, I was in a taxi with my newborn and my husband on our way home to recuperate.

A midwife stopped by that evening to check on us, and the pediatrician came the next day. He was gregarious and kind, even when I refused to let him take a blood sample from her temple. In fact, I nearly fainted at the idea of it. Yikes! He pricked her finger instead, a compromise that began our mutual intercultural partnership in caring for the health of the baby. The best pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, and family medicine doctors know how to work with both the children and the parents to nurture families holistically, offering expertise but also listening to the patients and their caregivers. Georgetown-trained health care providers, steeped in cura personalis, make this a priority.

Children’s health is complicated business, and Georgetown is involved at multiple intersections within the field. From racial and socioeconomic health disparities to advocating for children’s health coverage, from neuroscience research on language development to pediatric oncology, the university offers a range of expertise and insight. In September, a new university-wide Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues was launched, designed to foster cross-disciplinary research and dialogue on critical and emerging global children’s issues. This magazine dips into the ocean of work underway, as we take a look at some of these areas including adolescent behavioral health in the time of COVID-19.

To all the folks who work in child health, we thank you. You are nurturing the precious future generation who we hope will care for us someday!

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