Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter

Issue 13 | June 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

KCHC | Growing in Strength

The Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Children has added two new organizations to its Steering Committee this past month, The Kentucky Psychological Association, and Trans Parent Lex. With the two additions, this public-private partnership leading the coalition in its mission to improve children’s health is now made up of 38 organizations and state divisions/departments, and over 100 members. 

Survey | State of Oral Health in Kentucky Landscape Assessment 

The Kentucky Oral Health Coalition (KOHC) is conducting a landscape assessment on the state of oral health in Kentucky, and we need your help. We are seeking input from our members, providers, and community members to hear about dental care habits, access to care, insurance, oral health needs, and more!

Please take 10 minutes to complete our survey, and to help us get a more complete picture of oral health in Kentucky, share the survey with friends, colleagues, and others in your network.

Take the survey here

New Website | Partnership for a Resilient Kentucky

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky helped build the new web site for the Partnership for a Resilient Kentucky (PaRK). PaRK is a network of organizations and individuals to promote positive childhood experiences and resilience across the lifespan and to address the impact of adversity and trauma on individuals, families and communities. The web site provides research and resources on Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Here is the link to the new web site.

Listening Tour | Sowing Resilience with Bloom Kentucky

The Bloom Kentucky partnership, led by Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA), is hosting a listening tour around the Commonwealth “to bring local advocates and leaders together to identify strategies that that will build resilience in kids, families, and communities”.

This is the link to the information, places and dates of the listening sessions.

Advocacy Series | State & Federal Policy Updates 

The ThriveKY coalition and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will hold their Monthly Advocacy Update on state and federal policies with an impact on Kentucky families on June 6, 2023, 2:00 to 3:00 ET. Details here.

Advocacy Series | ThriveKY Regional Advocacy for Thriving Communities Series

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 June 13th event in Owensboro from 10am-1pm CDT.

Summit | 2023 Groundswell Summit

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has announced the 2023 Groundswell Summit for June 14th and 15th. The Groundswell Summit is a networking and resource gathering opportunity for Kentucky educators, families, administrators, and other community leaders who are seeking new and innovative ideas for increasing student success. Click here for registration and information.

What's New in Children's Health

Issue Brief | The Evidence on Work Requirements

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published a May 2023 Issue Brief Work Requirements: What Are They? Do They Work?  Because the topic of work requirements has recently been brought up at the national level and policymakers are considering their use in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and some have considered adding them to the Medicaid program, this brief examines the effectiveness of work requirements and the claims that it would increase labor force participation and bring people out of poverty.

The brief reports that available evidence does not support those claims made about adding the work requirements:

  • Most participants in means-tested programs are already working but receive wages that don’t meet their living costs.
  • Long-term program dependency is rare. Most people who participate in means-tested assistance programs only do so for short periods of time when unemployed or experiencing unexpected declines in income.
  • Those who are not working are mostly contending with physical and mental health challenges or caregiving responsibilities that work requirements will not address.
  • Work requirements programs are costly to administer and create an administrative burden for participants and government agencies.

For these reasons, they rarely boost labor force participation. 

Here is the link to the complete brief

Report | The Long-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have released the report Addressing the Long-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families (2023). This new report from the Board on Children, Youth, and Families identifies social, emotional, behavioral, educational, mental, physical, and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It then provides strategies for addressing the challenges and obstacles that the pandemic introduced for children and families in marginalized communities. Some of the issues identified:

Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes

The evidence shows:

  • increases in children’s dysregulated, internalizing, and externalizing behaviors and decreases in children’s adaptive behaviors and self-regulation skills;
  •  increases among adolescents and young adults in their levels of concern about their present and future, more time spent feeling unhappy or depressed, lack of social connection, anxiety about the loss of a caregiver, and a desire for greater social and emotional support from their teachers and schools; and
  • increases in parents’ stress, household chaos, challenges in parents’ mental health, and parent–child conflict.

Education and Learning Outcomes

The evidence shows:

  • declines in early childhood program enrollments—the programs experiencing the highest enrollment losses were those serving racially and ethnically minoritized families, low-income families, and families that did not speak English at home;
  • for kindergarten, 9 percent fewer students enrolling in 2019–2020 than in the year before the pandemic, with larger declines in fully remote school districts, which disproportionately enrolled low-income students;
  •  for grades 1–8, average decline of a 3 percent in enrollment;
  • overall, declines in enrollment in public K–12 schools in the first school year after the pandemic began, with 1.3 million fewer students than in the previous school year;
  • increases in chronic absenteeism, with 72 percent of public schools nationwide reporting higher chronic absenteeism rates than prepandemic; and
  • declines in the number of students aged 18–20 enrolling in college soon after graduating from high school, with community college enrollment for freshman declining by 20 percent.

Physical and Mental Health Outcomes

The evidence shows:

  • increased incidence of diabetes type 1 and type 2 among children during the pandemic, which may be due to a direct effect of the infection in children, or in the case of diabetes type 2, the increase in childhood obesity during the pandemic;
  • an increase in maternal mortality rates, with largest increases for Black and Latina women;
  • increases in the proportions of children with symptoms of depression and anxiety;
  • an increased rate of substance overdose deaths among adolescents, a majority of which were fentanyl related, with highest rates among Native American youth;
  • increases in household food insecurity and childhood obesity; and
  • delayed preventive care and immunizations, with lower rates of both for Black and Latino children.

Access the full report here.

Updates | Medicaid Funding for School Health Services

Kentucky school districts may participate in two Medicaid School-Based Programs. School-Based Health Services and School-Based Administrative Claiming. On May 18, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the updated school Medicaid claiming guide. Additionally, the US Department of Education officially posted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on parental consent. 

Here are the links to the guide, the proposed rule, fact sheet and press release: 

Guidelines | Pediatric Guidelines for Children and Youth with Obesity

The American Academy of Pediatrics has published the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Obesity. Obesity is a complex genetic, physiologic, socioeconomic, and environmental common and persistent issue with serious health consequences if not addressed. In the United States, around 14.4 million children and adolescents are affected by obesity. 

As the guidelines state, “An increased understanding of the impact of social determinants of health (SDoHs) on the chronic disease of obesity—along with heightened appreciation of the impact of the chronicity and severity of obesity-related comorbidities—has enabled broader and deeper understanding of the complexity of both obesity risk and treatment.” The guideline aims to inform pediatricians and other pediatric health care providers (PHCPs) about the standard of care for evaluating and treating children with overweight and obesity and related comorbidities.

Here is the link to the guidelines.

Take Action!

Senate Bill 150 is a wide-reaching and harmful piece of legislation which will have implications for the health of children and youth, in particular LGBTQ+ youth. As the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education has said in his statement on the law: “The bill contains provisions that will put our young people at risk, have the government interfere with decisions between doctors, patients and families and puts Kentucky at the front of a series of similar hateful, ignorant and shameful efforts around the country.”

Take action:

  • Share the Resource Guide for the Trans & LGBTQ+ Community
  • Raise awareness regarding the harmful impact of the bill.
  • Invite experts to present in front of legislative committees this summer. These committees will be tasked with “fixing” and implementing this and other bills.
In Case You Missed It

The Bottom Line News | Survey data shows employer child care benefits can help address workforce challenges – and there are new resources to provide assistance

Forbes | Gun Violence And Its Effect On The Mental Health Of Children In America

The Annie E. Casey Foundation | Equipping Policymakers With the Data to Help Transition-Age Young People Thrive

KYPolicy | Kentucky’s Basic Cash Assistance Program Just Got a Much-Needed Update

Cook With Us!

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

Try this easy hummus recipe! Perfect for a family gathering or a healthy lunch.

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