KidSafe Collaborative, an independent Chittenden County agency focused solely on keeping the community working together to prevent and address child abuse and neglect, held its 30th Annual Outstanding Service Awards luncheon April 4. Held during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the awards raise awareness and show appreciation to those on the front lines, and behind the scenes, who strengthen the community’s prevention of and response to child abuse and neglect.
Close to 300 attended the luncheon including the six honorees and their families. Honorees included Dr. Joseph F. Hagan Jr., Dr. Stephen Mann, Shelly McSweeney, Julia Conner, Burlington Police Department Sr. Officer Nikki Moyer and Beth Wagner.
Also attending the event, along with representatives from the health, human services, and education fields, were Gov. Phil Scott and Attorney General T. J. Donovan.
Dr. Lewis First, MD, chief of pediatrics at the UVM Children’s Hospital and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UVM Larner College of Medicine, presented the Lifetime Achievement Honoree to Dr. Hagan Jr.
“Since arriving in Burlington in the late 1970s, Dr. Hagan has dedicated his career to collaborating with others to improve the safety and wellbeing of children in Chittenden County, our region, our state and in turn our country,” Dr. First said. “He has become the go-to person in our county for medical consultation regarding children and families at risk for abuse and neglect.”
Hagan, a longtime Burlington resident, is a beloved pediatrician to thousands of children and their families in Chittenden County and the surrounding area. In addition to his work at Hagan Rinehart Connolly Pediatricians, he is a clinical professor of pediatrics, UVM Larner College of Medicine and UVM Children’s Hospital. Dr. Hagan is recognized for his distinguished career in pediatric medicine, and his focus on child safety and the diagnosis and prevention of child abuse and neglect. He is both an expert forensic pediatrician and an experienced advocate for children on the community, state, and national levels.
Both Hagan and First are honorary members of the KidSafe Board of Directors. The board recognized them for their embodiment of KidSafe’s mission and their lifelong commitment to children and families.
Prior to the luncheon, South Burlington resident Sally Borden, executive director of KidSafe since 2001, shared that the KidSafe awards were first presented in 1989, when the organization was known as the Chittenden Child Protection Network. Although only three awards were given initially, over the years, KidSafe added recognition for up-and-coming professionals, passionate children’s advocates, and collaborative teams.