Healthy Little Mouths – why we care about oral health for the youngest patients

I often meet families in our clinic at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis when their child is seen for a pre-operative exam prior to dental care under anesthesia. In fact, in my practice this is the most common reason a pre-operative exam is performed. While sedated, these children undergo dental examination, x-rays, dental cleaning, […]

The Housing Vaccine for Homeless Families: It’s time to do what works

As a pediatrician and researcher on how housing affects child health, I see the unintended consequences of public policy playing out on the bodies on my patients every day. I was particularly struck by the series of New York Times articles featuring Dasani, an 11 year old homeless child, which illustrated how homelessness affects all […]

SNAP cuts hurt: Moving from hunger to opportunity

President Obama asserted last week in his State of the Union address that what united us as a nation is “the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all – the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.” He rightly pointed out, however, that too many Americans are working just […]

Baltimore Mothers’ Stable Employment Promotes Child and Family Health

The state of the US economy is a major source of concern among families with young children. Unemployment, rising costs, and cuts to safety net programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly  food stamps) are daily stories as many families struggle to make ends meet. The recession has had catastrophic effects for […]

Punishing Hard Work: The Unintended Consequences of Cutting SNAP

Working in the nexus between policy, advocacy, and research, we hear story after story of how frustrating and arduous the climb out of poverty can be for parents of young children. We also see those stories reflected in data.  When we began working at our respective positions at the Center for Hunger Free Communities of […]

It’s Hunger Season Again! Fa La La La La! or BAH HUMBUG?

November marks the beginning of what is sometimes cynically referred to as “Hunger Season.” No, it’s not officially the beginning of open-season on hungry people, though these days it can seem like that. And it has nothing to do with the “Hunger Games”. Hunger Season occurs during the holiday months of November and December and […]

What man is there among you?

The self-portrait of a caregiver in one of my programs at the Center for Hunger Free Communities in Philadelphia hangs in my office. It is a portrait of pure humanity and the bareness of poverty. The woman painted herself naked inside of a barrel that is being ripped apart exposing her to the potentially harmful […]

What pediatricians have learned about SNAP

As pediatricians and researchers, my colleagues and I see every day the many ways in which poverty and food insecurity are written on the bodies and brains of our very young patients. In 1998 we watched with concern as the 1996 Welfare Reform Act was debated and passed.  There was no plan to monitor the […]

New Discussion 1

Children’s HealthWatch Research and Policy Priorities are comprised of the topics on which we will be focusing for the next two to three years.  While we continually collect data on all of our core topics, especially food, housing, and energy insecurity, in anticipation of issues that will form the national public policy debate we focus […]