Counting down to DC

On behalf of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.), I look forward to officially welcoming Zebediah, John and their families to the N.A.C.H. Family Advocacy Day in Washington, DC next week. We’re just days away from this exciting event!  One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to participate in this event every year and meet such inspirational families.

Over the past six years, hundreds of child patients and their families have attended N.A.C.H. Family Advocacy Day to tell their personal health care stories to members of Congress and make lots of new friends. When children with complex medical or chronic conditions come together, an amazing connection occurs. They bond in a special way that defies description. Our hope is that through the N.A.C.H. Family Advocacy Day, that bond will be strengthened by the mission of the event.

Especially now, as health reform implementation begins to roll out, members of Congress need to hear from families who rely on high quality pediatric care and expertise to tell them what is and isn’t working. As congressional constituents, families offer perspectives that are highly valued and taken very seriously by lawmakers and their staff who depend on information about the impact public policies are having on day-to-day life.

For example, in some sections of the country, children and families have to wait long periods of time for a specialty care appointment. Why? The high demand for pediatric specialty care outstrips supply. This situation is the opposite of what is happening in adult health care. And this is one of many examples of how children’s health care needs are unique and why they need special attention and focus.  There are legislative solutions Congress can consider that help address current barriers to pediatric care. Family stories that emphasize how important access to specialty care is to children’s health inspire Congress to action.

N.A.C.H. is so proud of the commitment John, Zebediah and their families are making to ensure health care works for kids through their participation in Family Advocacy Day. They are an integral part of our N.A.C.H. All-Star Team who bravely champion the health care needs of kids so that all children can reach their full potential.

Congratulations families!

— Aimee Ossman, Host Blogger, N.A.C.H. With All Our Might and N.A.C.H. Director of Policy Analysis

Stay updated on Family Advocacy Day and follow #FAD10 on Twitter.

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