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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

June 01, 2022
A Message from President and CEO Bob Meyer

Dear Community Members,

Our entire health care community is grieving the tragic loss of lives in Uvalde, Texas, and we stand alongside the families at Robb Elementary School who must be experiencing unimaginable pain. When children are at the center of such loss, grief is especially and often joined with outrage. 

I am frustrated that in the decade since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 of the victims were young children, we continue to see examples of people struggling with mental health issues using firearms, often obtained outside of lawful channels, to devastate families and communities. 

The heartbreaking cycle where children are the victims, and perpetrators, of such senseless acts needs to be broken. I firmly believe access to mental health care and behavioral health resources are paramount to keeping our kids safe.

When I took the helm as President and CEO of Phoenix Children’s nearly 20 years ago, I knew children and families in our community would benefit from the life-changing health care we would build. But as so many of us have witnessed, behavioral health challenges are now overwhelming our children, adolescents and the adults who care for them.

While we have worked hard over the years to fill the growing gaps in care, the need in our community has outpaced Phoenix Children’s capacity to offer everything our kids deserve. Last week’s tragic events are a grim reminder that we must act with urgency.

That is why, with the support of Phoenix Children’s board of directors and commitment from our entire leadership, we are dedicating significant resources to clearly define and build a comprehensive mental and behavioral health solution for youth. While we have a clear picture of the solution, we will be partnering with other leading organizations over the next few months on how best to operationalize the complex care delivery needed to realize the vision. I am eager to share more once we have this level of detail. 

All that said, each time a tragic school shooting occurs, we hold our collective breath as a community and worry when this will happen again and what we can do to stop it. We all have the ability to help children and teens from experiencing this again. If you know of a young person in trouble who needs help, please act today to assist them in getting the support they need. 

Sincerely,

Bob Meyer
President and CEO
Phoenix Children’s

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