The Second National Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome was held September 13-15, 1998 in Salt Lake City, Utah. It brought 866 professionals from various disciplines, parents and family members of SBS children together to gain current information and training on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Participants came from 49 states and six foreign countries. They heard from 112 presenters, who provided training and insight on the most relevant and current issues of SBS. The breakdown of participants included 162 medical doctors, 135 attorneys, 138 law enforcement personnel, 134 social workers, 117 prevention coordinators or administrators, 63 nurses, 43 medical examiners and 18 psychologists. 55 family members of SBS victims were and members from many other professions were also in attendance.
Abundant opportunities for networking throughout the conference benefitted professionals and family members. An opening night reception, a social event in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and several special discipline luncheons provided opportunity for networking. Parents and family members of the children of SBS held a reception and interacted with professionals throughout the conference. Several SBS children were in attendance and added much to the atmosphere of compassion and caring at the conference.
A six-hour pre-conference Prevention Institute was held on the opening day of the conference. Over 100 professionals dedicated to prevention activities attended. Topics discussed included research and reports on SBS statistics, methods of evaluation, gathering of statistics and marketing programs. Several programs of national acclaim were highlighted.
Monday, the first full day of conference, brought many educational opportunities. New ideas, concepts and educational efforts were provided to conference attendees by presenters from the medical, legal, investigative, treatment and prevention arenas. The audience was honored to hear from Governor Howard Dean of Vermont, who is also a physician. Governor Dean has significantly helped the children of his state throughout his life in medicine as well as politics. Many evaluation comments concluded Governor Dean should run for President and many want him to come their state.
Due to the untimely death of Justice Mark Kennedy's father-in-law, a panel of experts were convened to present the closing keynote address. The panel offered conference summary statements addressed the issues surrounding SBS and what the needs to be addressed in the future.
After the conference, the participants' evaluations were compiled. They rated the conference very high with many compliments about the site in Utah and the excellent program. Many said they looked forward to, and would attend, the next National Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Some specific evaluation comments from conference participants follow:
"Excellent and informative seminar on an important topic. I have gained a new appreciation of the multiple facets of SBS."
"Again a superior effort by all of you."
"Once again met all expectations. One of the strong points of this meeting is that is brings many different professionals together. It is probably the only meeting I attend that has such a varied attendance. One complaint, I'm exhausted!"
"Well paced and beautifully planned and executed conference. Great mix of disciplines and wonderful opportunity to get outside our own boxes and learn together. Thanks for the respect and support for prevention. Neat to have parents participating."
"Great! I am really excited about efforts toward prevention of SBS and dedicated to continuing those efforts."
"Very informative and obviously qualified panelists."
"Very professionally presented. Good opening. Set tone of meeting based on facts research, etc."
"Pleased to have the talent and expertise so far reaching."
"A very good speaker - first politician I ever enjoyed listening to."
"He should run for President so the rest of us can benefit like Vermont has."
"Magnificent, thank you for sharing his vision."
"Very emotional, very necessary! Thank you to these parents who were willing to share their stories and pain."
"Makes those of us realize the human side of these cases that we try to block out as we complete our jobs/duties."
"This was an incredibly moving and meaningful panel presentation. It effectively brings home how horrible and damaging this crime is to the lives of so many victims."
A special thank you is extended to all the presenters, the conference directors, Helen Britton, Marilyn Sandberg and Jacy Showers. Many long hours went into making it such a success. Gratitude is also extended to the 14 staff members of the Child Abuse Prevention Center for all their dedicated and excellent work. Special recognition to the National Planning Committee for their behind the scenes efforts and to all the sponsors and supporters who helped make this conference a historical one.
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