Closing the Gap: One Policy Solution to Improve Child Health and School Readiness

Emily, a mother and member of Witnesses to Hunger, whose son benefited from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) from birth to age five, passionately discusses the ways in which WIC enabled her to purchase Lactaid milk for her son who is lactose intolerant; his milk costs twice the price […]

Support the Health of the Families through the Community Eligibility Provision

Several months ago, I met a family in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Boston Medical Center with three children: one preschooler and two school-aged children. While my questions to the parents of these children were focused on the health of their youngest child, they could not help but tell me about their other two children. […]

WIC and SNAP Feed Our Future

When I first met Children HealthWatch’s founder Dr. Frank, I asked her what horrible disease was causing “failure to thrive” in the children she saw in her clinic—some crazy intestinal disease?  I was appalled by her answer then and still am now—that her patients do not have access to enough nutritious food to keep them […]

Just one Father’s Day policy can improve lifelong health, life expectancy, and gender equity

Right after my son Rocco was born, I reached my hands to him.  He instantly wrapped each hand around one of my fingers and melted my heart. My wife, Vanessa, and I will do everything we can to ensure our son is and will be healthy, happy, and able to reach his potential. On my […]

Pushing health care’s boundaries: Food is medicine

The three year old I was examining was grumpy and uncooperative. His mom assured me she had no concerns about his development, but I wasn’t so sure – he appeared withdrawn and nonverbal to my eyes.  Attempting to see more interaction, I asked if I could offer him some graham crackers. His eyes lit up, […]

Doctor’s Orders: Promoting Healthy Child Development by Increasing Food Security in Arkansas

Our hope for all of the patients we see in the pediatric clinics at Arkansas Children’s Hospital is that they will thrive in families that have enough money for basic needs, including rent, utilities, medical bills, and prescriptions and still have enough each month to pay for adequate food for all family members (food security). […]

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Investing today to create a more productive workforce tomorrow

In 2012, I was introduced to the work of Children’s HealthWatch as part of a volunteer strategic consulting team. My fellow Yale MBA colleagues and I spent months reviewing their work by conducting interviews with policy makers and discussing ways in which the research of Children’s HealthWatch could make a bigger impact. During these months […]

Ripple effect: Supporting children with special health care needs through improved family- focused policies

As a clinician who has worked for many years with families with children with special needs, I see parents who try, like all parents, to provide for all their family needs and give the best opportunities they can to their children. Low-income parents raising children with special health care needs (SHCN) face additional challenges in […]

What about the fathers and how can we help?

Today, most families are no longer the traditional model of “family” – a mother and father with 2.5 kids and a dog with a home-cooked meal on the table every night.  Families take a variety of forms – one parent, a parent and a grandparent, two dads, two moms, as well as the traditional father and […]

Why are Pediatricians and Child Health Researchers Talking about Tax Policy?

Just over 50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty,” with the promise that “we shall not rest until that war is won.” Throughout the next several decades, numerous anti-poverty policies were added to those began during Johnson’s war on poverty, and many others were reformed – most recently with […]