The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton is a not-for-profit regional pediatric referral center and is the only facility in the region devoted to the health, safety and information needs of children and their families. Dayton Children’s is staffed by pediatricians, pediatric specialists and clinical staff with special training and experience in caring for children. Dayton Children’s staff of over 200 physicians and residents includes primary care pediatricians as well as subspecialists in over 35 areas of pediatric medicine.
Lori Kershner worked with DCH to raise awareness of issues affecting the hospital with pertinent members of the Ohio legislature. Lori also worked to highlight public policy issues in areas such as Medicaid, child safety, hospital staffing and non-profit fundraising.
Lori was instrumental in ensuring the passage of booster seat legislation in Ohio on behalf of The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton. A three pronged effort was engaged in Ohio to help achieve the passage of this legislation, which had been pushed for almost a decade. Direct lobbying with legislative members, media campaign and the formation and activation of a grassroots network all worked in conjunction to assure passage of the booster seat law. Many members of the legislature opposed the legislation on the basis of their philosophical opposition to government mandates. Lori tackled that opposition by arranging for physicians from the hospital to testify on the clinical reasons that booster seats save the lives of children.
A broad coalition of advocates was formed to support the legislation. As part of that coalition, Lori worked to coach and prepare local parents of children critically injured to testify in committees about their experiences and how it affected their lives. Lori also assisted local physicians in preparing statements and testimony to help strenghen the case for passing booster seat requirements. Law enforcement associations testified as to the number of injuries and accidents they witness and combated legislators’ concerns about enforcement. Travel associations testified about traffic fatality numbers and federal grants money that would become available with the passage of the booster seat law.
Lori also worked to place op-eds and editorials in the local newspapers in support of the issue. Hospital advocates were educated and Lori instituted a letter writing campaign with advocates contacting their legislators’ office to urge support of the issue. After almost 12 years of advocates pursuing booster seat legislation, the bill was finally passed at the end of the 127th Ohio General Assembly.