Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter

Issue 19 | December 2023

Working collaboratively on policies and practices in and around schools that promote equity and improve the physical, social, and emotional health and well-being of children, youth, and families.
The opinions and viewpoints expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the positions of all coalition partners.
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KCHC Member Highlights

Meeting | Kentucky Voices for Health Annual Meeting | December 5


Registration is open for Kentucky Voices for Health’s 2023 Annual Meeting! The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5th at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington, KY. This meeting will bring together members of the coalition from across the commonwealth for a day of learning, networking, and resource sharing. Some of the special guests include the Chairs of the Health Services Committees of the Kentucky Legislature, Senator Stephen Meredith and Representative Kimberly Moser.

It’s not too late! Register here.

Summit | Kentucky Youth Advocates Blueprint Summit


Join Kentucky Youth Advocates at the Blueprint for Kentucky's Children Partner Summit on Wednesday, December 6th from 10:00am-3:00pm EST! KYA will launch the 2024 Blueprint priority agenda, hear insights into the Frankfort landscape, and participate in a variety of workshops to mobilize advocates for the 2024 legislative session.

The goals of the summit are to inform partners about state policy and budget priorities and equip partners as key advocates for kids and families in Frankfort. Lunch will be provided for attendees.

Register here.

Event Location: Sawyer Hayes Community Center

2201 Lakeland Rd, Louisville, KY 40241


Advocacy Series | ThriveKY Advocacy for Thriving Communities Series

Kentucky Voices for Health (KVH) & the coalition of ThriveKY partners will provide in-person around the Commonwealth events this year, April through November, with updates on state and federal policies that impact the health and wellbeing of Kentuckians. Speakers will discuss how to advocate for a stronger safety net through public assistance programs designed to support thriving communities. The series includes important updates on the economy, Medicaid, KCHIP, SNAP, housing, transportation, childcare, public health, behavioral health, and others. They provide tools to assist community members with meeting basic needs and tips on being a more effective advocate in your community. Click here for more information.

Register here for the December 12 Virtual Roadshow | 1-2:30pm EST.

Register here for the December 13 Virtual Roadshow & 2024 Legislative Preview | 2-4pm EST.

Save the Date! | Children's Advocacy Day | January 24, 2024

Date: Wednesday January 24, 2024

Location: Frankfort Kentucky

Details: More to come!


Webinar | Health for a Change: Breaking Down Language Barriers to Accessing Quality Care | December 7, 11:00 AM EST

When providers and patients do not share a native language or cultural expectations, there can be errors in communication and quality of care. This can lead to unequal treatment and poorer health outcomes. So, what can providers and advocates do? Join the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky for this free webinar to learn about what you can do to improve these disparities.

Register here.

Info Session | Bounce Coalition and Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky | December 11 and 18

The Bounce Coalition and Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky are interested in learning more about the self-care and resilience-building needs of kinship families throughout Kentucky. They will be hosting brainstorming sessions to deepen the understanding and to help support the curriculum that they will be developing to aid families.

Information here.

What's New in Children's Health

Positive Long-Term Effects of Medicaid During Childhood on the Economy

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a working paper which examines the short- and long-term fiscal effects of Medicaid spending on children, Exploring the Effects of Medicaid During Childhood on the Economy and the Budget: Working Paper 2023-07. Overall, the paper states that Medicaid enrollment during childhood has been shown to increase earnings in adulthood. Those higher earnings imply greater tax revenues and lower transfer payments by the federal government in the future. For example, some of the key findings in terms of the positive long-term fiscal effects:

  • An additional year of Medicaid coverage in childhood would improve labor outcomes in adulthood, including higher earnings, hours worked, and labor productivity. The earnings effects would be largest among the youngest children and those in families with the lowest incomes. 
  • The CBO estimates that the cost of an additional year of Medicaid coverage would initially equal $1,700 per child. This would increase GDP by between $3,700 and $14,900 over the long-run and have positive long-term fiscal effects of between $800 (49% of the initial cost) and $3,400 (197% of the initial cost). 

The CBO paper also examines the negative long-term fiscal effects (i.e. lower federal revenues and higher transfer spending) of a loss of one year of Medicaid coverage.  

CMS Guidance on Addressing Health-Related Social Needs in Medicaid and CHIP

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance on November 16, 2023 detailing the pathways to cover services and supports to address health-related social needs (HRSN), such as nutrition and housing interventions, in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance program (CHIP).

The guidance also includes an associated table detailing allowable HRSN services. Four coverage pathways are presented: (1) In Lieu Of Services and Settings, (2) Home and Community-Based Services authorities, (3) Section 1115 Demonstrations, and (4) CHIP Health Service Initiatives. The guidance is part of the Biden-Harris Administration Action to Improve Health and Wellbeing by Addressing Social Determinants of Health.

The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) has created a summary of the new policy changes

The US Early Years Climate Action Plan

The Early Years Climate Action Task Force has published its report Flourishing Children, Healthy Communities, and a Stronger Nation: The US Early Years Climate Action Plan which is a valuable resource with recommendations for state and local policymakers, early years providers, business, philanthropy, and researchers to support children and families and communities to take steps to address climate change, which disproportionately impact children and families in low-income communities.

As the report states: “Children, despite being least responsible for climate change, will live with its impacts their entire lives. They have a fundamental right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment—a right that is currently at risk. By supporting our youngest children and their families, we can protect that right today while laying the foundation for a more resilient and just society for generations to come.”

Behavioral Health Workforce Tracker

At a time where there is a growing need for behavioral health providers due to the child and youth mental health crisis we are facing, data on the behavioral health workforce to meet the need in each state is of utmost importance. The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity has developed an interactive tool presenting state and county-level data on the behavioral health workforce between 2017 and 2021.

The Behavioral Health Workforce Tracker allows users to visualize the geographic distribution of the behavioral health workforce by provider type and by Medicaid acceptance status. The tool uses 2017-2021 IQVIA Xponent retail prescription data to identify prescribers of behavioral health medications and state licensure data from 2020 and 2021 to identify licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists. 

In Your Community

💧 Water for the Win 💧

Students in Johnson County, Kentucky are filling up on water and the health benefits are streaming in. The district in eastern Kentucky serves more than 3,400 students and historically has struggled with inadequate water intake. But that is changing thanks to a Healthy Schools grant the district received.

To improve the health and wellness of its students, the school district implemented what it called the “Recharge, Refill, Fits the Bill While Reducing & Reusing” program. Funds from the grant were used to ensure that each school building had at least two water filling stations with filters. Students and staff were also given reusable water bottles and signs about the importance of water were placed near the filling stations. 

Higher water consumption is known to have many health benefits and data suggests it can improve brain function.

The program was a resounding success. Students and staff in Johnson County have been drinking more water and reducing their sugary drink intake. And the schools have been able to eliminate 222,100 disposable water bottles. One principal in the district says students have been able to stay hydrated without losing instructional time thanks to this program.

Johnson County was one of nine districts within the state which partnered with the Kentucky Department of Education from 2018-23 in the implementation of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Schools Cooperative Agreement to develop and implement school health infrastructure, best practices, programming and policies. For more information, please contact Shawn Castle ([email protected]). 

In Case You Missed It

Kentucky Health News | Kentucky first state with automatic Medicaid renewal for children

Herald Leader | After years of debate, corporal punishment ends in Kentucky schools

Kentucky Health News | Ky. kindergartners’ vaccination rates rose last year, but remained below the national average and were short of ‘herd immunity’ level

Northern Kentucky Tribune | Children’s oral health in Kentucky remains a pressing issue and is key to overall health and wellness

Kentucky Health News | Legislators expect to address youth vaping, maternal mortality, insurance issues and maybe abortion in upcoming session

The Hill | 1 in 5 children in the US have “inadequate” health insurance coverage: Study

NPR | How to break the cycle of childhood trauma? Help a baby's parents

Cook With Us!

Follow along as we make healthy, kid-friendly recipes with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

Celebrate the festive season with this Holiday Crisp Crumble.

Contact Us!

Do you have an upcoming event or exciting news to celebrate with our coalition? Please email Alexandra Kerley at [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming KCHC Newsletter!

Amalia Mendoza | KCHC Newsletter | 502-326-2583
Become a Member
Current KCHC Steering Committee Member Organizations:

Kentucky Department for Public Health

Kentucky Family Thrive

Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Health Departments Association

Kentucky Nurses Association

Kentucky Primary Care Association

Kentucky Public Health Association

Kentucky Psychological Association 

Kentucky Voices for Health

Kentucky Youth Advocates

KY Parent Teacher Association – 16th District

Pritchard Committee for Academic Excellence

Seven Counties Services

Spalding University

St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Trans Parent Lex

United Healthcare

University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences

University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Studies