Local officials praise signing of child protection bill

On Feb. 26, Gov. Mark Gordon signed into law the “Protection of children-child endangerment amendments” bill. The amendment to Wyoming law gives children living in the same home as a child suffering abuse the opportunity to be examined by a physician to assess their physical health and well-being. Previously, parents could deny the request to examine other children in the home.

Because of this legislation, physicians and law enforcement can partner to ensure that when one child is removed for reasons of abuse, other children residing in that same home can be taken in for a medical examination within 24 hours to ensure their safety.

Local pediatricians Bird Gilmartin, MD FAAP and Alan Brown, MD FAAP, who are board-certified pediatricians at Uinta Medical Group, identified this gap in Wyoming law and approached local State Sen. Wendy Schuler and other local stakeholders such as Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson-Kallas and law enforcement, about strengthening child protection. Together, they built a statewide coalition of stakeholders, whose vision and passion led to the successful passage of this legislation.

“Encountering child abuse and neglect is so heartbreaking,” said Dr. Gilmartin. “Pediatricians play an important role in identifying and preventing the mistreatment of children. This new law brings Wyoming up to national standards for protecting the children in our state.”

Dr. Gilmartin also serves as Pediatric Medical Director at Evanston Regional Hospital.

Schuler said, “I ran for office to make a difference, and I can’t think of a better way than making a positive impact for vulnerable children.”

Enrolled Act 51 (previously listed as Senate File 60) will be effective July 1.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call the Evanston Police Department at (307) 783-6400 or call dispatch at (307) 783-1000.

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for anonymous tips. They can be reached by calling (307) 789-CASH (2274) or by sending a text message to (307) 708-CASH (2274).


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