Using data to improve the lives of children and their families

Each year the U.S. Census Bureau releases data on the state of poverty in the United States. We know that children living in poverty face increased risk of poor health and development. Understanding the landscape of poverty is important for designing policies and programs that reduce its effects. On the one hand, the recent U.S. […]

What is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and why does it matter?

When I took my 7-month-old daughter, Beatrice, to daycare today I received an application for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the federally funded nutrition program which provides meals for children across the country in child care settings. After I glanced at the application packet and said hello to the other parents dropping […]

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 […]