WASHINGTON, DC (January 25, 2023) – Nemours Children’s Health research and policy leaders detail the latest strategies for identifying and addressing health equity disparities among children and families in a special section on Population Health in the February edition of Current Opinion in Pediatrics. Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS, Executive Vice President, Chief Population Health officer; and Allison Gertel-Rosenberg, MS, Vice President, Chief Policy and Prevention Officer, both of Nemours Children’s Health, describe in a joint editorial, Cross-sector opportunities to advance the health and well-being of children, how health systems working alongside community stakeholders and policymakers can create the healthiest generations of children. By addressing social determinants, health systems can promote equitable health outcomes across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Dr. Walker and Gertel-Rosenberg write “the need to develop and invest in portfolios of approaches to improve or change the trajectory of child health and well-being require cross-sector integration and alignment. At the same time, this presents an opportunity to design a whole child approach that closes inequities in the measured outcomes to improve overall health and well being.”
In several articles, Nemours Children’s experts and others summarize evidence and provide strategies to improve pediatric population health, including the value of healthy eating and physical activity, investing in social determinants of health (SDOH) for children and families, and policy changes to strengthen the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.
Authors Roshelle Payes, MPH, Project Director, Early Childhood & Health, and Caliste Chong, MS, Manager, Practice and Prevention, both of Nemours Children’s Health, write in a review, Improving child care through healthy eating and physical activity, that the child care sector is fragile and complex, but quality improvement efforts have been successful in improving healthy eating and physical activity. Diverse childcare providers, including family child care homes, can effectively embed nutrition and physical activity standards in their environments to promote healthy eating and active play, limit screen time, and support breastfeeding.
Rachel Thornton, MD, PhD, FAAP, Vice President, Chief Health Equity Officer, Nemours Children’s Health, reports in an article, Addressing population health inequities: investing in the social determinants of health for children and families to advance child health equity, that the COVID-19 pandemic brought greater attention to the disparities and inequities in American health and healthcare. In response to these stark inequities, many health systems are adopting efforts and initiatives to address social needs, SDOH, racism, and health equity.
Abby Nerlinger, MD, pediatric hospitalist, Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley, in a review, Social determinants of health screening in pediatric healthcare settings, writes that the transition to value-based care and the COVID-19 pandemic have both had significant impacts on screening practices for SDOH, with implications for providers, communities, and policymakers.
These publications support the Nemours vision of creating the healthiest generations of children by caring for the whole child. The Nemours strategy to redefine children’s health includes improving pediatric population health, addressing disparities in health equity, and going well beyond medicine to help communities thrive.
To view the February edition of Current Opinion in Pediatrics, click here.
About Nemours Children's Health
Nemours Children’s Health is one of the nation’s largest multistate pediatric health systems, which includes two free-standing children's hospitals and a network of more than 70 primary and specialty care practices. Nemours Children's seeks to transform the health of children by adopting a holistic health model that utilizes innovative, safe, and high-quality care, while also caring for the health of the whole child beyond medicine. Nemours Children's also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, Nemours KidsHealth.org.
The Nemours Foundation, established through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to the children, families and communities it serves. For more information, visit Nemours.org.
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