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7/2/18blog post

Huber Heights family takes on D.C.

Dayton Children's joins children's hospitals from across the country in advocating for children's health care

As stories swirl in the media about children being separated from parents, teen suicide rates increasing and the opioid crisis hitting every corner of the United States, now more than ever children need us to be their voice. At Dayton Children’s we like to say “children aren’t little adults.”  And while the trauma that seems to be everywhere in our country definitely impacts all of us – its greatest toll is on children who are still developing and learning how to navigate life’s challenges.

Kids don’t vote, so often the child’s perspective is forgotten in Washington D.C. However, while we may say they don’t have a voice – I’ll challenge that a bit this week!

On June 26-27, Dayton Children’s joined with other children’s hospitals and patient families from around to be a voice for children’s health at the Children’s Hospital Association’s 2018 Advocacy Day.

The children seen in our hospitals represent the future of our nation, and their health must be a top priority. With that in mind, children and their families stormed Capitol Hill and asked Congress to prioritize children’s health and:

  • Safeguard Medicaid for all kids who need it.
  • Improve Medicaid for children with the most complex medical conditions by passing the bipartisan Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act (ACE Kids Act).
  • Invest in tomorrow’s pediatricians by reauthorizing the bipartisan Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program for five years and funding CHGME for FY 2019 at $330 million.

These are all critical asks to ensure children have consistent and comprehensive health care during their formative years.

Children’s hospitals have also been working to find creative ways to care for the most vulnerable children in communities, including those who are in the foster care system. In Ohio, and our region specifically, foster care numbers are growing substantially. Julie Miller, a foster mother from Huber Heights, joined Dayton Children’s staff to share her family’s story.

The Miller family goes to Wright Patterson Air Force Base for medical appointments, however their foster child who was on Medicaid could not be seen on base. The family struggled finding a pediatrician who would take new patients on Medicaid.

Julie, a true voice for children, shared with our members of Congress “Luckily, we heard about the about the new Dayton Children's Foster/Kinship Clinic and it has been a huge blessing. They take time with her and treat the whole person understanding that even if a child might physically be ok, most likely the child has been through a lot of trauma and still needs extra care.  We now have a supportive team for our foster child who is now thriving. “ 

Being a voice for children means never letting up.  Their today is our country’s tomorrow! We hope our legislators are listening.

 

Jessica Saunders

director, Office of Community Health and Engagement Programs
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