Congratulations and thanks from the Boston Children’s Team

Josh Greenberg from Boston Children's office of Government Relations, shakes hands with Mass. Senator Mo Cowan.

Josh Greenberg from Boston Children’s office of Government Relations, shakes hands with Mass. Senator Mo Cowan.

Riley, Thomas, Lauren and their families made Boston Children’s Hospital very proud last week.  As a group, we held nine meetings in congressional offices on Thursday.  Josh Greenberg, Maria Fernandes, Sandi Fenwick and I had the pleasure of accompanying these families to their meetings and I know I speak for all of us in saying how very proud we are of these three patients and how grateful we are to their families for taking the time to travel with us on this journey.

In each meeting, our patient was the star and the families did a much better job making policy issues come to life for their elected officials than any lobbyist or administrator could do:

While we spoke about a federal commitment to the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program and the importance of training pediatric specialists, Thomas’s family described the concerns they had about the retirement of the surgeon who had essentially rebuilt their child’s insides.  They also described their great relief that his care was picked up by former residents who had trained under that very same surgeon, underscoring the importance of training a new generation of pediatric specialists.

While we spoke about improving care for medically complex children on Medicaid, Riley and her family pulled out their care map to show the complex network of specialists and providers that it takes to keep Riley healthy.  They shared the important role that Medicaid plays in assisting with the co-pays that can quickly accumulate when your child needs to see multiple specialists during every visit to the hospital.

While we spoke about the importance of advancing pediatric research, Lauren described the clinical trial in which she is a participant.  The hospital and the National Institutes of Health share a commitment to developing new treatments and cures for conditions like cystic fibrosis, but we depend on the active participation and trust of patients like Lauren who are willing to help drive medical research forward.

Thanks to the offices of Representative Joe Kennedy, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Mo Cowan (Massachusetts); Representative Carol Shea-Porter, Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire); and Representative Chellie Pingree and Senators Susan Collins and Angus King (Maine) for their warm welcomes.

 

~Amy DeLong

Boston Children’s Hospital

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