We know that a broad array of health, social and economic factors can affect child health—and creates long-term adult health,” said Gratale. “The health sector has tremendous opportunity to collaborate closely with multi-sector partners to connect children to needed services, support families and improve neighborhood conditions for optimal child well-being.
WASHINGTON, DC (JUNE 29, 2022) – Nemours Children’s Health, a national leader in pediatrics, has announced a new collaboration designed to advance innovative healthcare policy, payment, and care delivery for children across the country. The Whole Child Health Alliance advances overall child well-being by advocating for policies to promote optimal health and improve health equity through delivery and payment reforms as well as aligned partnerships.
The Alliance supports a Whole Child Health Model, which proposes the innovative alignment of child health providers, payers, community-based organizations, and other multi-sector partners in improving population health and addressing social needs. Broader social determinants of health (SDoH), such as access to nutritious foods, high quality childcare, education, and housing, affect the health of children, youth, and their families. The Alliance’s inaugural Steering Committee members include Daniella Gratale, Director, Office of Child Health Policy and Advocacy at Nemours Children's Health; Nathaniel Counts, Senior Vice President, Behavioral Health Innovation, Mental Health America; and Joshua Traylor, Senior Director, Health Care Transformation Task Force.
The Alliance will use various strategies to advance needed reforms, including informing legislation, agency rulemaking and guidance, new payment models and other financing approaches.
“We know that a broad array of health, social and economic factors can affect child health—and creates long-term adult health,” said Gratale. “The health sector has tremendous opportunity to collaborate closely with multi-sector partners to connect children to needed services, support families and improve neighborhood conditions for optimal child well-being. Nemours Children’s and our partners believe in going well beyond medicine to create the conditions in which children can thrive.”
The Alliance will highlight the latest developments in research along with emerging strategies and best practices from the field. In addition, the Alliance will promote opportunities for members to collaborate with other coalitions active on issues related to SDoH impacting children and youth.
“Attention to social determinants of health will be especially critical for addressing the current crisis in children's mental health," said Counts. “With approximately 80% of health outcomes influenced by SDoH and other non-medical factors – which is especially the case for children's mental health – health care providers will need to take an increasingly active role in partnering with community and government stakeholders to address the factors influencing health outside the clinic walls.”
“Compared to adults, kids are generally healthier and less expensive to insure. Consequently, health care delivery and payment reform efforts typically focus on adults and overlook the pediatric population,” said Traylor. “I am looking forward to working with the Alliance on rethinking the way we care for children and families and creating positive action in this space.”
Current members of the Alliance include: Nemours Children’s Health, Mental Health America, Aligning for Health, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Children’s Hospital Association, Delaware Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Families USA, First Focus on Children, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Seattle Children’s, Trust for America’s Health, and ZERO TO THREE. Additional members will likely be added in 2023. The Alliance has also established an Advisory Committee with subject-matter experts. Organizations and individuals interested in learning more about the Alliance should contact email@example.com. To learn more about the Whole Child Health Alliance, view the webpage.
About Nemours Children’s National Office of Policy and Prevention
Established in 2008 and co-located in Washington, D.C., and Delaware, Nemours National Office of Policy and Prevention promotes optimal health and well-being for all children by advocating for federal policy change and innovative solutions to advance pediatric clinical care, research, and community-based preventative efforts. Nemours National Office of Policy and Prevention is a catalyst for accelerating pediatric population health improvement and health system transformation.
About Nemours Children’s Health
Nemours Children’s Health is one of the nation’s largest multistate pediatric health systems, including 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, 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.
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