Kentucky Coalition For Healthy Children Newsletter

Issue 5 | October 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

Survey Results A Fragile Ecosystem IV: Will Kentucky Child Care Survive When The Dollars Run Out?

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, along with a team of statewide organizations, released the findings of a survey of Kentucky childcare providers, which warn Kentucky leaders of pressing childcare access issues and the need for state investment when federal funding runs out. The findings were presented on September 22, 2022, at an event in Frankfort where they were joined by statewide early childhood advocates, members of the KY Strong Start Coalition, and legislative leaders.

Virtual Meeting | Bounce Grand Rounds – October 12

The Bounce Coalition is holding a learning opportunity to discuss school safety and the impact of community violence on young children in Kentucky. The event will feature local and national experts on school safety, including Sandy Hook Promise, as well as opportunities for break-out discussion and brainstorming designed to build individual and organizational knowledge and skills.

Virtual Summit | The 2022 Children’s Environmental Health Summit – October 13

The Children’s Environmental Health Summit will address the topics of radon monitoring, secondhand smoke and its effects on children, health equity and transportation, pediatric exposures to PFAS, and compounding disasters and community health.

Virtual Forum | 2022 Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum - October 17

The Foundation for a Health Kentucky's 2022 Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum, Education as a Cornerstone of Kentucky’s Health Outcomes, will look at the connection between educational opportunities and health outcomes of people in the Commonwealth.

In-Person Event | 2022 SOAR Summit – October 19-20

Join Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) at its annual summit October 19-20 in Pikeville, KY. On the first day of the event, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is offering two workshops focused on children’s health, showcasing Kentucky successes in addressing childhood obesity and youth tobacco use.

Event Series | ThriveKY Hosts Regional “Advocacy for Thriving Communities” Series

Catch ThriveKY, “a coalition of organizations who pursue systemic change to assure that the commonwealth meets the basic needs of every Kentuckian” led by KCHC executive partner Kentucky Voices for Health, as they give state and federal policy updates on issues impacting the health and wellbeing of Kentuckians. Dates this month include: October 4 in Whitesburg; October 11 in Paintsville; October 18 in Ashland; October 20 in Owensboro; October 25 in Flemingsburg. To see more details, click here.

Month-Long Event | National Farm to School Month

Join the National and Kentucky Farm to School Networks in observing National Farm to School Month this October. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has produced a toolkit encouraging participation in the Kentucky Crunch to celebrate, wherein child nutrition staff are encouraged to provide local, fresh produce. The Kentucky Farm to School Network has signage available both for schools and farmers who participate in the National Farm to School Month.

Webinar | School Garden Resources Webinar – October 18, 4:30-5:30pm EDT

Register now for this upcoming webinar, which is geared towards school staff, from the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD) and Kentucky Horticulture Council (KHC) on the basics of school gardens, funding, and how to get started. 

News Release | Gov. Beshear: Kentucky Awarded Over $3.6 Million from Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant

Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Steering Committee member, the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities will receive a $3,675,000 Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention grant. Awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kentucky is one of only 10 recipients. The focus of the grant is reducing suicide among Kentuckians under 25. 

What's New in Children's Health

Brief | National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

The White House Summit on Hunger, Nutrition and Health took place on September 28, 2022. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky hosted one of the regional stakeholders listening sessions to provide feedback for the summit and resulting policy brief. The following is a summary of the areas covered in the National Strategy:

  1. Improving food access and affordability, including by advancing economic security; increasing access to free and nourishing school meals; providing Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) benefits to more children; and expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility to more underserved populations;
  2. Integrating nutrition and health, including by working with Congress to pilot coverage of medically tailored meals in Medicare; testing Medicaid coverage of nutrition education and other nutrition supports using Medicaid section 1115 demonstration projects; and expanding Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries’ access to nutrition and obesity counseling;
  3. Empowering all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices, including by proposing to develop a front-of-package labeling scheme for food packages; proposing to update the nutrition criteria for the “healthy” claim on food packages; expanding incentives for fruits and vegetables in SNAP; facilitating sodium reduction in the food supply by issuing longer-term, voluntary sodium targets for industry; and assessing additional steps to reduce added sugar consumption, including potential voluntary targets;
  4. Supporting physical activity for all, including by expanding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program to all states and territories; investing in efforts to connect people to parks and other outdoor spaces; and funding regular updates to and promotion of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans; and
  5. Enhancing nutrition and food security research, including by bolstering funding to improve metrics, data collection, and research to inform nutrition and food security policy, particularly on issues of equity and access; and implementing a vision for advancing nutrition science.

Report | The 2022 State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America

The report was released by Trust for America's Health on September 27,2022 and presents state by state data, analysis, and policy and program recommendations.

Among the findings:

  • There are 19 states with an adult obesity rate of over 35%, up from 16.
  • Kentucky is one of three states with the highest obesity rates: 40.3 %.
  • Obesity rates are also increasing among children and adolescents with nearly 20% of U.S. Children ages 2 to 19 having obesity, with higher rates among children and youth of color.
  • Structural and social determinants are significantly influencing the rates of obesity among adults and youth. Factors such as structural racism, discrimination, poverty, food insecurity, housing instability, and lack of access to quality healthcare are key drivers of the differences in obesity rates across racial and ethnic groups.

Brief | InBrief: Connecting the Brain to the Rest of the Body

Harvard Center on the Developing Child has published a brief but thorough overview of the interplay between the brain and body, the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and policy implications.

Guidance | Vaccines, Masks and Social-Distancing: Oh My!

This piece from the American Lung Association provides helpful information and tips for parents to protect their kids as they continue attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Report | Lessons From a Historic Decline in Child Poverty

Child Trends recently completed an in-depth analysis of the unprecedented drop in child poverty over the past 25 years. Key findings were that decreased unemployment and declining teen birth rates were integral to this improvement; SNAP, Social Security, and the EITC were the most powerful programs preventing child poverty; and limits to those social safety net programs on the basis of citizenship and immigration status are harmful for Asian and Hispanic children. For more on this groundbreaking report, register for their upcoming webinar, Lessons from a Historic Decline in Child Poverty, Wednesday, October 12, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EDT.

Brief | Addressing Discrimination Supports Youth Suicide Prevention Efforts

This brief summarizes data demonstrating disparities in suicidal ideation and attempted suicide among children coming from marginalized groups and suggests that reducing stigma and discrimination may result in lower rates of attempted or successful suicide. 

In Your Community

Bracken County School District, Health Department team up to provide students, community with new health clinic

Renovations to the new Bracken County School District school-based health center (SBHC) are set to be completed by mid-October, and students will be able to go to in-person dental, physical, and mental health appointments by November 1.

This has been made possible through public/private partnerships between the Bracken County Health Department, Bracken County Schools, the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, Interact for Health (a Cincinnati-based foundation with a long history of establishing SBHCs), and Primary Plus (a Federally Qualified Health Center based in Bracken County).

While waiting for the building to open, telehealth services have been available to students and staff as part of the program. Come November, the facility will host a nurse practitioner, a dentist, and a licensed social worker; the space will be outfitted with two medical exam rooms and four dental chairs. Parents will be able to join in-person appointments via a HIPAA-compliant virtual link.

Though the facility has been slated as an SBHC, community members may also utilize the services offered at the facility.

“This is a true partnership,” said Tony Cox, director of the Bracken County Health Department. “The Health Department employs the nurses for the school nurse program. They will be the first line of defense and then refer students on to the center if a next level provider is needed. The center will also accept patients from other referral sources (teachers, school administration, community agencies, etc.) and treat anyone who seeks treatment.”

The facility will take all kinds of insurance, and, because Primary Plus is an FQHC, no one will be turned away due to an inability to pay, but rather will be subject to sliding-scale fees based on family income.

Cox sees many benefits to the structure of the new facility.

“This allows the parent to have a student receive the care they need, without the parent having to miss a day of work. Being located in a rural area, commuting to work over 30 minutes is a necessity, this makes it hard for parents to get students to appointments and not take off. Also, students will not have to miss an entire day of school – they can seek treatment and return to the classroom (if not contagious). Our community has been without a dentist for over 2 years and we will now be able to offer dental services to everyone!”

For more information on SBHCs, check out Interact for Health and the School-Based Health Alliance.

Take Action!

Prepare for the general election!

Kentucky’s upcoming general election is November 8, and the deadline to register is October 11. Update your voter registration status, host a registration drive, find sample ballots for your area (this resource is less useful if you live in Fayette or Jefferson: if you are in Fayette County, use this link; if you are in Jefferson County, use this link), and check out this resource from the Advocacy Action Network. 

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

Kentucky Health News |With the important exceptions of vaping and marijuana, substance abuse among U.S. teenagers has been going down

The Wall Street Journal |Starting School Before 8 a.m. Can Be Harmful to Teens, Sleep Scientists Say

WFPL-FM | Louisville nonprofit aims to tackle racial and economic inequities in education

CNN |FDA authorization for updated Covid-19 boosters could be expanded to younger ages as soon as early October

Cook With Us!

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

Step into fall with this recipe for Mini- Pumpkin Muffins!

Contact Us!
Do you have an upcoming event or exciting news to celebrate with our coalition? Please email Chloe Atwater at to be featured in an upcoming KCHC Newsletter!
Amalia Mendoza | KCHC Newsletter | 502-326-2583 |
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