There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
– Nelson Mandela
With more than 40 years of pediatric care in the greater Bangor region, Penobscot Pediatrics has lived by Mandela’s words. Our history includes thousands of stories of children healed, of families supported, and of lives changed. Our practice boasts nationally-regarded pediatric health care, focused on the most precious assets of our communities – our kids.
Recent data on status of Maine children are grim and unacceptable – insufficient mental health services, unaddressed substance use challenges, food insecurity, a tragically high youth suicide rate, low vaccination rates, and generally inadequate access to preventive pediatric care. We must do more for our children, and we must do it now.
PCHC can do this by expanding our space and our services – but we can’t do one without the other. We know that access to integrated primary and mental health care, social work supports, and other needed specialty services change young lives and set our kids up for brighter futures. Our integrated care teams work with families and community partners to build healthy environments for our patients. Our providers and staff work every day to address housing and food insecurity and other social factors, like poverty and discrimination, that prevent children from thriving and reaching their full potential.
We are committed to every child. We don’t want another generation of Maine’s children struggling with unaddressed childhood trauma or other challenges that we can prevent. As pediatric providers, parents, and community members, we know that when our children are healthy, our communities thrive. By helping us meet our challenge and giving kids the best possible start, you are making an investment in the long term success of our community and our state.
In Penobscot County, 18% of our children are living in poverty, and 24% – nearly 1 in 4 children – don’t have enough to eat. Across the state of Maine, numbers are rising for the number of children:
- In foster care
- Born substance exposed
- With childhood diabetes and obesity
- With anxiety and mental health issues
- Using tobacco, alcohol, and drugs
- Attempting suicide
Sources: Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Children’s Alliance