Letters: Emerson Hospital clarifies role in Youth Risk Behavior Survey; Massachusetts senators should support cultured meat research

Emerson Hospital clarifies role in Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Some parents from the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District recently had questions about the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) taken by students in grades sixth, eighth, and ninth through 12th in March 2021. I am writing to clarify Emerson Hospital’s role.

For 25 years, Emerson Hospital has partnered with local school districts to help fund a YRBS. Schools use the results to identify risky behaviors, develop education programs, and create constructive dialogue to reduce risky behaviors. The survey questions are based on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention YRBS that is used by schools across the country. A local steering committee of representatives from each participating school district discusses, develops and approves every survey question. Emerson Hospital does not create the survey questions.

As a participant in the March 2021 YRBS, GDRSD representatives attended committee meetings where every question in the YRBS was carefully reviewed. There are many opportunities during the survey creation process for questions to be modified or deleted. GDRSD, along with the other participating school districts, approved all of the questions in the YRBS that students received.

Each school district decides how to administer the survey and communicates to parents and students about the YRBS. The school districts are responsible for enabling parents to opt their students out of taking the survey. All student responses are anonymous.

Please be in touch with GDRSD if you have any questions about the YRBS.

Christine Gallery
senior vice president, planning and chief strategy officer at Emerson Hospital

Massachusetts senators should support cultured meat research

In order to help address the problem of climate change, Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For readers who aren’t familiar with the term, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughtering animals. It requires a fraction of the greenhouse-gas emissions to produce that raising livestock does.

This is important because animal agriculture represents one of the leading causes of global warming. Though private companies have made significant strides developing cultured meat, government investment is necessary to fill knowledge gaps, such as those surrounding the creation of whole-cut products. I hope environmentally conscious legislators will back such funding.

Jon Hochschartner
Granby, Conn.


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