Author: PedsAdvocacy

Protect Key Programs Critical to Child Nutrition

For decades, Congress has wisely ensured that federal child nutrition programs be guided by scientific recommendations from the Instutite of Medicine (IOM) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). As a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), which the AAP supported, the USDA strengthened nutrition standards for school meals, based on recommendations by the IOM. These updated lunch standards have been in place for two years, and include provisions such as insuring more fruits and vegetables in school children’s lunches. 93% of lunches currently served meet these improved nutrition standards. As children receive up to 50% of their calories at school, it is critical that school meals are healthy, balanced and age appropriate.  (more…)

Update: AAP opposes reduction in SNAP funding in the Farm Bill

Back in February of this year, Dr. Katie Maddox brought to our attention the Farm Bill (known officially as the Agricultural Act of 2014) and its proposed reduction of 8.6 billion dollars in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) budget. At the time, the Farm Bill had been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and was pending approval by Senate. Before the revised bill went to Senate, the AAP issued a statement opposing the proposed cuts to the SNAP program (1). (more…)

A World Without CHIP

In her post on Feb 10, Dr Shae Anderson reminded us that federal funding for CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) will soon expire in September 2015. In order to voice its continued support of CHIP and to call for providers to advocate to their legislators, the AAP recently released a revised policy statement on the program in March. (more…)

UPDATE: Partially Hydrogenated Oils

In a previous update on November 11, 2013, Dolly Sevier brought to our attention the tentative determination by the FDA that our primary dietary source of trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), are no longer generally recognized as safe (GRAS), with the ultimate plan to mandate the removal of PHOs from all food products. In the announcement, the FDA made a call for public comment on this determination.  (more…)

More Children with Insurance and No Medical Care

On March 31, 2014, Dr. Katie Collins commented on insurance company restrictions as to where patients can receive covered care. The post highlighted that having insurance does not guarantee that a family can see their preferred medical providers. As we continue to educate families on network restrictions, we must also address another population that has insurance but restricted access to healthcare: the child enrolled in Medicaid. (more…)

Increasing training for human trafficking awareness, a fight against modern-day slavery

Human trafficking as defined under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act is “The recruitment, harboring, transporting, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, slavery, or forced commercial sex acts.“

According to US Department of State there maybe as many as 27 million persons in modern-day slavery world wide. Approximately 17,000 foreign nationals are trafficked into the US every year, however, there is a large domestic component as well, with as many as 244,000 children and youth at risk of becoming victims of sexual exploitation, including commercial sexual exploitation (according to a 2001 study by the University of Pennsylvania). The vast majority of victims of human trafficking are women and children, with up to 50% of these victims being children.Due to lack of systematic methods for tracking numbers of human trafficking cases, exact numbers with in the US are difficult to estimate. Texas however, appears to be a major hub for human trafficking into the US, with as many at 1 in 5 victims passing through the state. (more…)

Childcare and Developmental Fund

All of us have had the opportunity to work with patients and parents who depend on having quality daycare available during the day in order to be able to work and provide for their families. The child care and developmental fund was established in 1998 in order to help these families, as well as to provide standards for the quality of care that children receive in these facilities. In 2014, this fund is up to be reauthorized with some important additions. The senate has passed the legislation and it is now in the house for approval. (more…)

Air Quality and Asthma

As bronchiolitis season finally abates, asthma regains its primary place as the most common respiratory complaint at CMC Dallas ED. While we carefully educate patients and their families about preventative measures and ways to alter the home environment to prevent asthma exacerbations, the environment outside of the home is not so easily altered and can have an enormous impact on patient health. Air quality in particular is beyond the patient and the family’s control, and yet it significantly impacts an asthmatic’s ability to breathe. (more…)

My Patient Now Has Insurance, So Why Can’t They Get Care?

The passage of the Affordable Care Act has greatly improved access to health insurance by giving Americans an alternative who lack access to traditional employer-based health coverage. The ACA Marketplace gives individuals and families the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance. However, having insurance does not guarantee the family can see their preferred medical providers. (more…)

Mental Health and Our School System

It is a common sentiment in the pediatric community that our current health care system does not meet the needs of the 1 in 5 children in the United States with a diagnosable mental health disorder. There is a current bill in Congress that speaks to this very problem: The Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013. This bill would require a comprehensive school mental health program that would assist children in dealing with trauma and stress and would encourage community partnerships among education systems and mental health and substance use disorder services and other agencies. (more…)