Access to Health Care for Colorado’s Kids Top Priority for Parents and Child Advocates at State Capitol Today

Approximately seventy participants shared their support for children's access to health care with state legislators.

Contact: Tara Manthey
Title: Communications Director
Phone: (720) 256-1312
Email: tara@coloradokids.org

Access to Health Care for Colorado’s Kids Top Priority for Parents and Child Advocates at State Capitol Today

Approximately seventy participants shared their support for children's access to health care with state legislators.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23rd, 2013

Denver, CO – Today, nearly 70 parents and child advocates from all corners of the state visited the Colorado State Capitol to speak up for the health and well-being of Colorado kids. Research indicates as many as one in 10 Colorado children still lack the health coverage they need to grow up healthy and strong. To ensure the needs of children are part of the conversation about health care, the Colorado Children’s Campaign and Children’s Hospital Colorado hosted Speak Up for Kids’ Health at the Capitol, an event designed to raise the voices of parents, caregivers, health care professionals and others who care about child health.

“Decisions about children’s health care are too important to be made without the input of parents and caregivers,” said Heidi Baskfield, executive director of advocacy, Children’s Hospital Colorado. “By simply taking the time to speak out about the needs of children and share their stories with lawmakers, parents and others who care about kids can make a real difference in kids’ lives.”

Participants in Speak Up for Kids’ Health at the Capitol began the day with a training session at the History Colorado Center, which included a review of current child health-related legislation, role-playing in preparation for legislative visits, and remarks from State Representative Lois Landgraf (R-21, Fountain) and State Senator Linda Newell (D-26, Littleton). Both leaders discussed the impact of policy decisions on kids and stressed the value of hearing from their constituents on issues like child health and well-being.

“Your story matters; your voice matters,” said Sen. Linda Newell (D-Littleton). “We can study all kinds of data, but what we need to hear as legislators are the human stories behind that data. People sharing their stories with legislators via emails, calls, meetings, testimony at the Capitol, or by attending town halls – that’s what we listen to.”

Participants then moved to the State Capitol where they met directly with their legislators to discuss ways to improve access to children’s health care in Colorado. Many of the participants were motivated to take action because of health challenges their own children have faced.

“Today helped me realize how much our representatives and senators really want to hear from us,” said Rosalie Sudowski, parent and member of the Family Leadership Training Institute. “I also now see the important role we can play in providing information to them. It is up to us to help educate our legislators so that they better understand the issues that matter to us.”

Colorado has made real progress toward providing health care for kids. According to the Children’s Campaign’s 2013 KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report, between 2005 and 2010, the number of uninsured children declined 31 percent. Yet, state and national research surveys estimate that about 9 percent remain uninsured – meaning about 113,000 Colorado children are still without coverage.

“Ensuring all kids can get the care they need, when they need it, isn’t too much to ask,” said Chris Watney, president and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “While we have made progress in recent years thanks to initiatives such as expanding the CHP+ child health coverage program, much still remains to be done. Working together, we can thank legislators who have supported improving access to CHP+, and continue encouraging legislators to ensure all Colorado children have equal access to care.”

Legislators will consider several bills related to health access for Colorado children in the 2013 legislative session.

NOTE: The media sponsor of the 2013 Speak Up for Kids’ Health at the Capitol event was 7NEWS.

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About Colorado Children's Campaign


The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and advocacy organization focused on improving the quality of and expanding access to child health, K-12 education and early childhood experiences. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.

Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) has defined and delivered pediatric health care excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children’s Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually acknowledged as one of the nation’s top ten Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine, Children’s Colorado is known for both its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research, education and advocacy programs, as well as comprehensive everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Children’s Colorado also is recognized for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Centers and has been designated a Magnet® hospital since 2005. The hospital’s family-centered, collaborative approach combines the nation’s top pediatric doctors, nurses and researchers to pioneer new approaches to pediatric medicine. With urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Metro Denver and Southern Colorado, including its main campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, Children’s Colorado provides a full spectrum of pediatric specialties. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org and connect with Children’s Colorado on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tara Manthey at (720) 256-1312 or email Tara at tara@coloradokids.org.