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What the new administration’s health care policy means for children with special needs


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  • Maureen Mills/ Raising Special Kids

John Pope, M.D., President Of The Arizona Chapter Of The American Academy Of Pediatrics, Opened The Symposium. Photo Courtesy Raising Special Kids

Last week, Raising Special Kids hosted over 200 attendees and top medical professionals for Partners in Care – The Arizona Symposium on Children with Special Health Care Needs.

John Pope, M.D., President of the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, opened the symposium by noting, “There are over 250,000 children in Arizona with special health care needs, and Medicaid is the largest insurer of those children.”

Referring to proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, Raising Special Kids’ Executive Director, Joyce Millard Hoie called upon legislators to reach across the aisle. “It’s time for bipartisan efforts to create workable health care solutions for families.”

In her keynote address, “Child Health Policy and the New Administration – Tracking the first 100 Days”, Karen Remley, M.D., CEO/Executive Vice President of the AAP, underscored the importance of Medicaid calling it “foundational to our country’s future.”

She added, “We at the Academy are non-partisan, but we are unabashedly pro-children.” Remley concluded her address by encouraging all attendees to become involved. “We have a voice. We need to use it for kids. Mobilize. Be pragmatically bold.”

Additional symposium topics addressed transition from pediatric to adult health care for individuals with disabilities.

To wrap up the day’s event, Pope was joined by Dana Wolfe Naimark, CEO of Children’s Action Alliance. Pope and Naimark engaged the attendees in targeted, small-group discussions on state-specific strategies for affecting positive change for health care for families in Arizona.

Raising Special Kids is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening families and systems of care to improve the lives of Arizona’s children with disabilities.

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