Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter

Issue 6 | November 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

Report | Community and Jail Practices to Support Children with Incarcerated Parents: The Kentucky Landscape

Check out this report from Kentucky Youth Advocates and the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation “assess[ing] jail practices and policies regarding incarcerated parents, and shar[ing] action steps communities and jails can take to deepen supports for families impacted by incarceration.” 

Virtual Event | ThriveKY Quarterly Forum with CHFS

Join ThriveKY for a forum with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services November 15 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm.

Virtual Event | Advisory Council for Medical Assistance (MAC) Meeting

Meetings of the Medical Assistance Council (MAC) are subject to Kentucky open records requirements and may be viewed via a Zoom link hosted on the Cabinet for Health and Family Services website. This recurring event will take place November 17 from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.

In-Person Event | Kentucky Voices for Health 2022 Annual Meeting

Registration for Kentucky Voices for Health 2022 Annual Meeting is now open. The event will be held Wednesday, December 14 at the Embassy Suites – UK Coldstream Campus in Lexington. Topics covered will include protecting Kentucky’s safety net, the benefits cliff, advancing better health policy, and more. Tickets are $25 with KVH membership and $50 without KVH membership. 

Event | 11th Annual Pediatric Behavioral and Mental Health Symposium

Geared towards those working in children’s health or education, this year’s symposium will address the impact of prejudice on pediatric mental health. Topics include weight and appearance discrimination, discrimination against LGBTQ+ students, and discrimination based on immigrant status. This event will provide continuing education credits for many attendees.

Campaign | Flu and COVID-19 PSA Campaign

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Flu & COVID Season PSA Campaign is underway targeting various distinct audiences with tailored content to encourage them to get their Flu and COVID boosters this fall. Download and share the materials with your networks. 

What's New in Children's Health

Organizational Comment | Federal Evidence Agenda on LGBTQI+ Equity Response

Review the comments from Child Trends in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology’s call for recommendations to improve the federal government’s “ability to make data-informed policy decisions that advance equity for LGBTQI+ children, youth, and families.” Recommendations draw attention to a lack of data on certain sub-populations, such as LGBTQI+ foster and adoptive families and gender-nonconforming and transgender students.

Observance | Transgender Awareness Week

November 13-19 is Transgender Awareness week, established to raise awareness to the discrimination and injustices perpetuated against transgender people. November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is a day of observation to honor transgender people who have lost their lives from anti-transgender violence. Last legislative session, KCHC voted to oppose legislation that would have banned gender affirming care for trans youth and a bill that passed into law banning trans girls from participating in interscholastic sports. Check out this Trans Action Kit from GLSEN, the national organization associated with Steering Committee member GLSEN Bluegrass.  

Blog | HHS Secretary Becerra Extends the Public Health Emergency into 2023

HHS Secretary Becerra recently extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for another 90 days. This means that Medicaid continuous coverage protection may be lifted no sooner than February 1, 2023, and the enhanced Medicaid and CHIP matches will remain in effect through the end of March 2023. While the matches are subject to states’ acceptance, Kentucky (as well as all other states) have chosen to do so. Check out this resource from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families for example communications toolkits to deal with Medicaid unwinding at the end of the public health emergency, or this recent piece from the Kaiser Family Foundation entitled “10 Things to Know About the Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Requirement.”

Blog Post | States fill gaps left by Congress in feeding hungry kids

In recognition of National School Lunch Week in mid-October, the Center for Science in the Public Interest published this piece on the evolution of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), ways that states have addressed the insufficiencies of the program, and what’s next for the NSLP, including a $100 million healthy school meals initiative.

In Your Community

Nonprofit BeWell in School extends operations in Lexington, teaches students mindfulness

BeWell in School, a nonprofit based in Nashville, TN has been extended to four new Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS). The district first adopted the program for the 2021-2022 school year, with Mary Todd Elementary School as a pilot location. It saw such a positive reaction, the program was extended to Ashland Elementary, Northern Elementary, RISE STEM Academy, and Rosa Parks Elementary.

BeWell in School was founded in 2019 by a 4th grade teacher and is focused on helping students develop self-regulation strategies and to foster positive human connections through movement, breathing, and mindfulness techniques.

According to Abi Woodie, a Mary Todd BeWell teacher, the organization seeks to provide students with tools and strategies to regulate their emotions and succeed in school in life, and to leverage these tools and strategies to foster positive behavior and wellbeing among students, reduced discipline referrals, reduced suspensions and expulsions, improved academic outcomes, and increased teacher morale.

In addition to guided BeWell lessons, homeroom teachers in BeWell schools create “peace corners” in their classrooms for students to go when they need to practice self-regulating. Some students have told Woodie that they have created their own peace corners at home. Each school has also found ways to extend BeWell principles to staff. At RISE STEM Academy, BeWell teacher Beverly Brothers hosts monthly mediation, and Woodie hosts staff yoga classes once a month, both with certified instructors.

BeWell trains school administrators and teachers on the science and research on intentional mindfulness, racial identity, allyship, and implicit bias. Woodie stated that, in addition to the benefits of having a BeWell Ambassador on-site, the Lexington Program Director visits each school regularly to make sure everything is going as it should.

“In my experience, students are always saying how grateful they are that they have a teacher and space such as BeWell to come to when they feel dysregulated,” said Woodie. “It's so uplifting to have those check-outs with kids who say, ‘thank you for helping me feel better.’ You really can see a difference in their ability to self-regulate once they've put some BeWell strategies into practice.”

Given the program’s significant expansion this year, BeWell is working to foster more positive community relationships. Every Wednesday through November, BeWell has partnered with Wildfire Yoga Studio to offer mindful movement classes open to all kids in the community and taught by the district’s BeWell teachers.

Take Action!

Spread the word: Window for Child Tax Credit, free file service closing soon

The IRS recently discovered that many families are still eligible to receive 2021’s stimulus check, enhanced Child Tax Credit, and expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. It is believed that most of these families are low-income families that would not otherwise file a return, and an estimated 27,000 Kentucky kids could lose out on benefits after the November 15 deadline. features a quick eligibility tool, and families deemed eligible may utilize the IRS free file service. Please share this information with your networks.

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).

The Benefits Cliff Task Force

Follow along with the Kentucky Benefits Cliff Task force by checking out materials from past meetings here, and catching up on meeting recordings on the LRC YouTube page. Catch Kentucky Voices for Health’s presentation during the September 22 meeting here.

Interim Joint Committee on Education

Rep. Mark Hart, R-Falmouth recently proposed increased penalties for students caught using e-cigarettes in schools and suggested that he plans to bring forth legislation to this effect in the coming legislative session. Harsh punishments for e-cigarette use are generally regarded as counterproductive. Watch the committee session here

In Case You Missed It

New York Times | A ‘Tripledemic’? Flu and Other Infections Return as Covid Cases Rise

Washington Post | Anxiety screening may happen at your child’s next doctor visit. Here’s why.

WDRB | 'Handle With Care' allows Ky. children access to mental health resources if police participate

Public News Service | End of ‘Family Glitch’ Means Affordable Coverage for More KY Families

Northern Kentucky Tribune | Kentucky receives Medicaid Innovation Award for enrollment efforts during COVID-19 pandemic

Cook With Us!

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

Healthy Apple Nachos

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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