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Advocacy and Health Policy

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Community Health Needs Assessment

Join the Children’s Minnesota Advocacy Network

Get the latest information on policies that impact children's health, and we will alert you when there is an opportunity to contact your legislators on various issues or engage at a community event.

Be the voice for children

Children’s Minnesota can spearhead initiatives that advocate for children’s health and health care, but to get advocacy to really work, we need support from the whole community. That’s where you come in. You can be a voice for children.

Early childhood development

From birth to age three, we have a remarkable opportunity to influence the entire trajectory of a child’s life. We know that 80 percent of brain development occurs by age three. In Minnesota, that means more than 200,000 children are in this critical stage of development.

Health equity

Children's Minnesota’s work on health equity goes beyond the advocacy department. However, we are proud to be engaged in efforts geared toward ensuring every child is supported in his or her health and wellbeing. We are doing this in general ways through active relationship-building with communities of color as well as through more specific efforts. For example, Children’s hosts an American Indian Community Collaboration, which is driven by our American Indian liaison and guided through a co-leadership structure with members of the American Indian community. This work is focused on enhancing patient/family experience within our system, identifying and addressing specific disparities and fostering external relationships that can support health and wellbeing for American Indian children in their community and through their own cultural assets.

Health care delivery innovation

Health care is evolving and there is an increasing focus on ensuring high quality care delivered with the greatest value. Children's Minnesota has been a long-time partner in efforts to reform care delivery models.

Medical Education

As the state’s largest pediatric health care provider, Children's Minnesota trains the majority of pediatric primary and specialty care providers in the state. Every year, we train approximately 350 students, residents and fellows in a variety of pediatric specialties. With guidance from our expert clinicians, students learn about meeting the unique needs of children, from one-pound preemies to adolescents as they grow and change.


Medicaid (called “Medical Assistance” or “MA” in Minnesota) is the largest children's health program in the United States. It is a joint federal-state program that provides health coverage to certain categories of low-income people, including children, pregnant women, parents of eligible children and people with disabilities. It covers a broad range of health care services, including physician and hospital visits, well-child care, health screenings, and vision and dental care with few costs paid by the family. Nationally, children make up half of all Medicaid enrollees but account for less than 20 percent of the costs.

Key Issues

The Children’s advocacy team works on a number of issues that impact our ability to provide the best care for all kids and improve the overall health of children and their families. The advocacy team generally focuses its work in two areas: issues that impact the delivery of pediatric health care and broader child health and wellbeing issues.

Community Health and Engagement

As a non-profit hospital, Children’s identifies and works to address pressing health needs of children in our communities. Children’s reports on this work in two ways: