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WesternU's Austin Lecture focuses on The Vulnerable Child

by Rodney Tanaka

February 27, 2015

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Western University of Health Sciences’ 4th Annual Dr. Robert L. Austin Endowed Lectureship in Pediatric Medicine and Pediatric Health Care Policy will feature a groundbreaking leader in developing critically needed medical, legal and social services to families affected by violence.

The lecture will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at WesternU’s Health Education Center, Lecture Hall I, 701 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766.

“The Vulnerable Child: A Challenge to Multi-disciplinary Pediatric Care” will be presented by keynote speaker Astrid Heppenstall Heger, MD, Executive Director of the Violence Intervention Project at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, and a professor of clinical pediatrics at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

Dr. Heger founded the Center for the Vulnerable Child (CVC) in 1984 for the evaluation of child abuse, the first medically-based child advocacy center in the world. CVC evaluates more than 15,000 child abuse and child sexual assault victims every year.

She is the preeminent expert in the field of child sexual abuse and assault, and is the author of numerous articles in this field, as well as a definitive textbook, “Evaluation of the Sexually Abused Child,” now in its second edition.

In 1995, Dr. Heger established the first “one-stop shop” community Family Advocacy Center, offering medical, mental health, protective, legal and social services to victims of family violence and sexual assault throughout Los Angeles County. Dr. Heger continues to be a powerful advocate for the rights of children and families impacted by violence. WesternU presented Dr. Heger with its highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Humanism in Healing Award, at its A Tribute to Caring gala Nov. 8, 2014.

The lectureship was established in Dr. Austin’s memory by his wife, Gloria, their children, Charles, Douglas and Lynette, and their families, and is designed to honor and perpetuate his lifelong love of medical practice and his pursuit of pediatric knowledge in the health professions. He was a faculty member at COMP until his retirement in 1981.

Please RSVP to Roxanne Gonzalez at or contact Brenda Campbell at 909-469-5211.


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