Of Turkeys and Taxes

I know Thanksgiving is approaching when I see the line at our hospital’s food pantry stretching down the hall and into the next building, an annual sign that holiday turkey distribution has begun. Our office conference room fills with donated toys waiting to be distributed to children in our clinic. This is the time of […]

Boston City Council Hearing on Food Insecurity

On October 20, 2014, Children’s HealthWatch founder and Principal Investigator, Dr. Deborah Frank testified before the Boston City Council on the state of food insecurity in Boston. In addition to her testimony, Dr. Frank submitted a letter to the City Council. The hearing was ordered by Councilor O’Malley and held by the Council’s Committee on […]

Children’s HealthWatch Signs Letter to Patrick Administration RE: SNAP Job Search Requirement

Children’s HealthWatch  joined a coalition of 20 Massachusetts organizations to submit a letter urging the Secretary Polanowicz, Commissioner Monahan and the Patrick Administration to immediately cease the mandatory SNAP job search requirement and instead return to operating a voluntary SNAP employment and training program, as authorized under federal law. Massachusetts abandoned the voluntary job search SNAP […]

Children’s HealthWatch Signs Child Nutrition Forum Letter to President Obama

Children’s HealthWatch joined more than 1,000 national, state, and local organizations in a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to continue his commitment to the child nutrition programs and efforts to reduce child hunger and obesity by including significant new investments to the programs in his FY2016 budget. The letter was circulated by members of […]

Healing the whole child is health care innovation

When the Great Recession hit in 2008, I immediately began to worry about its impacts on the bodies of the very young patients in my Growth and Development clinic at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock. Moreover, the data we collect in the Pediatric Emergency Department corroborated what I sensed from my patients to […]

Families Need Food Assistance Reform to Reach Economic Independence

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is not just the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, but it is also a key social infrastructure bridging the chasm separating “working hungry” families from families that are financially stable. But the SNAP formula that determines benefits based on how much it costs to provide families with good nutrition […]

This Labor Day, Let’s Remember Those Who Can’t Afford a Day Off

In a recent New York Times article, reporter Jodi Kantor describes the challenging lifestyle of Jannette Navarro, a 22-year-old single mother who is a Starbucks barista with an erratic work schedule. The article chronicles Jannette’s seemingly impossible balancing act of seeking childcare, pursuing an education, and providing for her family. The workplace stress and uncertainty that […]

The Lies We Tell and the Secrets We Keep

The day I decided to write this blog post was very similar to proposing marriage:  I’d already made up my mind, but I wanted my parents’ blessing. I called them before I went over to their home, which immediately put my mother on alert since I have a key to their place and show up […]


Steadying the Foundation: Maternal Job Stability, Safety Net Programs & Young Children’s Health

The Great Recession caused many American families to lose their jobs or have their work hours reduced. Low-income working mothers were hit particularly hard. This brief examines how maternal job loss and/or reduced work hours (job instability) increase risk of poor health for young children and their mothers. It documents how two of the largest federal safety net […]

The Winter that Still Refuses to End

While the exceptionally hard winter we New Englanders and many others across this nation recently experienced is fading into remote, faint memories for most of us, for others its effects still linger. Even though we have packed away our winter coats and pulled out our T-shirts, shorts and tank tops, many families are still struggling […]