Child and Family Health Research and Policy in Coming Decades; Children’s HealthWatch’s Second Twenty Years

Children’s HealthWatch was born out of concerns that policies like the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reauthorization Act (PRWORA) of 1996, the so-called “welfare reform” law, instead of improving public health or the standard of living, could cause great harm to the health and well-being of young children and their families. The pediatricians, child development […]

,

Children’s Healthwatch: The Data System for the Next 20 years

When Children’s HealthWatch started 20 years ago in 1998, we had a passionate mission: to measure the impact of the “new” policies, namely welfare reform, and their impact on the health and development of young children and their families. So, equipped with paper surveys we created, we began talking with families of young children across […]

,

The Power of One

“I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do.”  -Edward Everett Hale This sentiment by author Edward Everett Hale has guided many of my steps in life, particularly around volunteerism and non-profit work:  In 1985, I began a […]

,

20 Years of Informing Policies to Improve Child Health

Sitting in a conference room in Washington D.C. twenty years ago, my clinical colleagues, Drs. Diana Cutts, Patrick Casey, Carol Berkowitz, and Maureen Black, and I shared disturbing and tragic stories of the consequences of the 1996 welfare reform on the health of children. I told them of a child at Boston City Hospital (now […]

A Stable, Affordable Home is a Prescription for Good Health

Originally posted on Opportunity Starts at Home As a doctor, I know that a stable, affordable home is a prescription for good health. This was recently instilled by my work at the GROW Clinic at Boston Medical Center, which takes care of kids underweight for their age. One of my patients at age 2 was […]

,

These are the key actions that successful anti-hunger and health care partnerships all share

Over the past several years, Health care systems and individual providers have increasingly recognized their role in identifying and addressing their patients’ food security needs. Efforts to screen for food insecurity in health care settings and facilitate successful connections to anti-hunger organizations and emergency food providers have increasingly become squarely positioned within systems of health […]

The Case for Increasing the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit

Pause for a moment. Now picture yourself as part of a family of four. You have two young kids, you and your spouse work full-time jobs. You and your spouse work hard to provide for your children and have provided everything they need, ensuring they have a fulfilling childhood. Possibly a better childhood than your own. Up until now, you managed to get by, but rent has crept up and […]

New evidence sheds light on the impact of civil unrest on mothers’ daily routines and emotional well-being

On April 12, 2015, in Baltimore, Maryland, police officers arrested Freddie Gray, a 25 year-old African American man, who subsequently sustained neck and spinal injuries while in a police vehicle. His death led to protests across the city and erupted in civil unrest: fires, property destruction, and violence. A state of emergency was declared from […]

How we can help families move from hardship to health

One of the most remarkable things about pediatric medicine is the simple fact that most of the time, sick kids get better. I’ll admit – few things are as terrifying as being a new parent and having your toddler admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit for an acute asthma attack. But it’s true, […]

Bring us your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free: Caring for children of immigrants

Recently, Alex, a 10 year-old boy in my pediatric practice, was in the office complaining of a stomachache. I asked the usual questions: When did it start? Did it happen at certain times or in response to particular foods? Were there any other gastrointestinal changes? What made it better or worse? Many questions later, I […]