Being a voice for kids: Advocacy at Children’s

At Children’s, we believe that every child should have the best chance at leading a healthy life and that’s why we’re committed to providing excellent medical care for kids. Part of that commitment is making sure that we have the policies in place at the local, state and national levels that will protect and promote children’s health and health care.

washingtongroupThrough this blog we hope to provide you with insight into the current legislation we’re focused on, and how that legislation impacts kids’ health and our ability to care for our patients. Do you want to help us make a difference? You can sign up to be a part of the Children’s Advocacy Network.

What are we working on?

Civic engagement for young voters

Today’s the day! After months of debates, ads and campaign stops, Election Day 2012 is here and we hope that you’ll get out and vote. Making sure that elected officials help protect and promote children’s health means that we need to participate in the democratic process and speak up for the issues that matter to us. Voting is a critically important part of this advocacy. Here’s a breakdown from the Advocacy and Health Policy team about making democracy work for kids’ health.

Supporting patient family advocates

Children’s supports and encourages our patient families to be advocates by telling their story of how the treatment they’ve received at Children’s has made a difference. In 2012, the Johnston family made a trip to Washington D.C. to talk about their son Mike’s diagnosis with a cancerous brain tumor. They told legislators about the long wait they endured to see various specialists before ultimately being sent to Children’s. You can read about the Johnston family’s story, as well as a Q & A about their time in DC.

Do you have a story about the care you received at Children’s? Please share it with us!

Preventing childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is on the rise in Minnesota, and we’re seeing a growing number of overweight and obese children. In a recent report, we explored how Minnesota kids are faring in the battle against obesity. The earlier we tackle this problem, the better. To learn more, take a look at our infographic on the health of Minnesota’s kids.

Protecting children’s health through screening

Minnesota participates in a newborn screening program that allows hospitals to screen infants for more than 50 disorders through the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The program has life-saving benefits and helps identify harmful and sometimes fatal disorders that cannot be detected by a physical examination only; disorders that if diagnosed early, can often be treated. This program is often a topic of discussion at the legislature. Learn more about why newborn screening is so important to protecting children’s health.