Melissa Currie, MD, medical director and chief at Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine, has been nominated for a Seven Counties Services Healthcare Advocacy Award.
A Quick Look
Married with three young children, ages 8, 10 and 12. In addition to hanging with her family, Currie loves reading in her spare time–all genres–and said, “You name it, I’ll read it!”
Currie is a specialist in child abuse pediatrics with UofL Physicians and the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine. She is a member of the first group of pediatricians nationwide to become board certified in child abuse medicine and was the first in Kentucky. As one of just three board-certified child abuse pediatricians in the state, and as the leader of the only physical abuse and neglect consultation service in Kentucky, the majority of medical consultations for child physical abuse and neglect involve her office.
Currie serves the children and families of Kentucky and Southern Indiana. One important component of a safe community for children is the ability of adults to recognize the warning signs when a child is being hurt. She sits on the newly legislated Governor’s Panel on Child Fatality Review and we unfortunately see many cases where adults have failed to recognize early warning signs of abuse, and the child has suffered more as a result. Because of this, they provide training about prevention, recognition, intervention, investigation and prosecution of child maltreatment to a wide variety of academic and professional audiences.
Currie has been honored to help with the passage of four different laws since 2010 that are related to child maltreatment: Three of those relate to mandatory child abuse recognition training for a wide variety of professionals who work with children, and one was the establishment of the Governor’s Panel on Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review. She is also a founding member of the Face It Movement, a multidisciplinary community action group led by Kosair Charities that is committed to ending child maltreatment in Jefferson County over the next decade.
Example of Results
Each year, Currie and her team are seeing more and more examples of community professionals who are recognizing and reporting the early warning signs of abuse and neglect. Our program has seen a surge of cases that are being identified earlier—before devastating injury occurs. While our ultimate goal is to prevent abuse from happening in the first place, it is gratifying to see the results of our training efforts in the form of safer kids and a safer community.
Why It Matters
When asked of the importance of her work, Currie said, “At the risk of sounding cliché, our children are our future. Keeping our children safe and healthy should be a top priority for all of us – for one thing, these are the people who will be caring for us in our later years! There is a growing body of research that is showing us how much our childhoods matter to our health as adults. Adverse childhood experiences are directly related to disease and poor health in adulthood. What happens in childhood matters!”
- Founding member/Steering Committee, Face It® Movement; Kosair Charities; chair of the Policy Committee for Face It;chair of the Medical Professional Education Workgroup for Face It
- Chair, State Public Health Child Fatality Review Team
- Founding member, Partnership to Eliminate Child Abuse; led by Kosair Children’s Hospital
- Appointed member, Governor’s External Panel on Child Fatality Review