Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter

Issue 7 | December 2022

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

Live Event | 2022 Kentucky Voices for Health Annual Meeting – December 14, 2022

Join KVH on December 14th for their 2022 Annual Meeting in Lexington to explore opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of all Kentuckians. Issues to be addressed include health care coverage after the federal health emergency ends, Kentucky public assistance programs and the benefits cliff, and a 2023 legislative preview on health policies with participation from Kentucky Senators and Representatives.

Register here.


Report | 2022 Kentucky Youth Advocates Kids Count Data Book

For optimal well-being, children need thriving communities that support strong families, good health, protection from harm, economic security, and a high-quality education. Kentucky Youth Advocates has released the 2022 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book which features the latest data on 16 measures of child well-being, showing whether outcomes for children across the Commonwealth have improved, worsened, or stayed the same.

Recap | Watch the recordings of the 2022 Howard L. Bost Health Policy Forum on the topic of Education as a Social Determinant of Health

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 2022 Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum focused on the connection between educational opportunities and health outcomes of Kentuckians.

Recap | Pediatric Behavioral and Mental Health Symposium

The 11th annual Pediatric Behavioral and Mental Health Symposium was held virtually on November 4th, 2022. The symposium is a combined effort of members of the Alliance for Pediatric Behavioral and Mental Health of KY with support from the University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare. The theme of this year’s program was the Impact of Prejudice on Pediatric Mental Health. 

The keynote speaker at the symposium was Dr. Rebecca Puhl who presented on weight stigma in youth; highlighting resources that clinicians can use to support children and adolescents experiencing weight stigma. A second focus was on behavioral health issues specifically impacting LGBQT+ youth. Dr. Suzanne Kingery, pediatric endocrinologist, provided valuable information about mental health concerns experienced by this group. Two students from the KY Student Voice Team relayed some of their personal challenges and gave recommendations for providers.

The final topic was aimed at prejudice associated with refugee/immigrant status. Holly Cunningham, of Kentucky Refugee Ministries targeted the specific needs of this group and resources available in the community. Two counselors and two students representing urban and rural public schools in Kentucky with a primarily immigrant population spoke to their specific mental health needs and programs available to them. The symposium was successful in disseminating not only the views of experts in pediatric behavioral health but also the perspectives of the youth for whom we provide services.

What's New in Children's Health

Toolkit | Toolkit for Improving Family Planning Services in School Settings

Child Trends, a nonprofit research center that conducts research on children and child well-being, recently released a toolkit for family planning providers and school administrators on delivering high-quality family planning care and programing within a school setting. The toolkit offers foundational approaches to providing family planning to adolescents and case studies on innovative family planning delivery strategies. Adolescent access to comprehensive, high-quality family planning services helps promote sexual and reproductive health. 

Research | Association of the COVID-19 Pandemic With Adolescent and Young Adult Eating Disorder Care Volume

Recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), this research intended to determine if the volume of adolescent and young adult patients seeing care for eating disorders changed with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The research found that there was a significant increase. 

Report | Parents Differ Sharply by Party Over What Their K-12 Children Should Learn in School

The Pew Research Center released the findings of a study conducted to better understand how parents with children in K-12 schools see their children’s education. The report includes information on the topics parents feel their children should learn at school, levels of satisfaction with the quality of their children’s education, and assessments on the influence of various external groups on their children’s education.

Report | Childhood Obesity- Meeting the Moment: Learning From Leaders at the Forefront of Change

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State of Childhood Obesity project released their latest report which gathers insights from community leaders and researchers on the topics of improving health data, creating opportunity, building equitable food systems and advancing the policy priorities of SNAP, WIC and school meals. 

In Your Community

The power of data: JCPS participation in the Kentucky Immunization Registry 

Many Kentucky children are behind on their regular immunizations, posing the risk of contracting the serious diseases vaccines can prevent. The more information there is about vaccination rates, the more children’s immunizations can be improved.

Right now, there is county-by county level data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows percentage changes in vaccine uptake specific to children’s vaccinations. But not being able to distill down past the county level impacts the ability to find disparities and ways to address them.

Schools are required to collect student immunization information and ensure students are up to date with required vaccinations. Obtaining records from the Kentucky Immunization Registry (KYIR) would provide a more comprehensive view of children’s immunizations.  School districts can obtain records from KYIR to Infinite Campus if they enter into a data sharing agreement with the state. Through expanded Medicaid billing opportunities for schools in Kentucky, districts have the opportunity for nurses to administer vaccinations. An electronic mechanism that can push data to KYIR and parental consent are required for schools to be able to send immunization data to the KYIR.

Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) implemented an Electronic Health Record system (EHR) during the COVID Pandemic through a grant from their local health department initially and then with federal funds that came to schools for COVID relief. Once an EHR for the school system was established, JCPS was able to connect its immunization data with the KYIR. When immunizations are administered by JCPS, parental consent is required, which provides the additional consent to allow for reporting to the KYIR.

Dr. Eva Stone, JCPS District Health Services Manager, says results of this program have been valuable. By having access to the KYIR data for students, JCPS was able to identify disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations and take action through clinics targeted to meeting the needs that were found. The data has also shown gaps in other immunizations but finding providers to administer additional clinics is a barrier currently being faced. 

Take Action!

Stay up to date: 2022 Interim Session

Keep up with the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2022 Interim Session. The committee meeting schedule can be found here, and you can watch meetings live on YouTube (EDT).

In Case You Missed It

Public News Service | Rural KY Schools Tackle Childhood Trauma

Kentucky Health News | Youth suicide rates are higher where mental-health providers are scarce, study of all U.S. counties says; all but 3 in Ky. rated short

CDC News Release | Nearly 40 million children are dangerously susceptible to growing measles threat

Healthline | Obesity Linked to Poor Brain Health in Children: What Parents Can Do

PACEs Connection | Recorded webinar: Flourishing Families, Centering Justice: Policy solutions for prevention-focused, trauma-informed supports for children and families

Cook With Us!

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

Warm up on a cold day with a bowl of lentil vegetable soup!

Contact Us!

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

Amalia Mendoza | KCHC Newsletter | 502-326-2583 |
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