Children Campaign To Advance Health Care Options

Pediatric Patients From NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Their Families Travel to Washington, D.C., to Advocate High-Quality Pediatric Care<br />

Jun 15, 2010


Health care reform has made important progress in ensuring that America's 70 million children have health care coverage with benefits that meet their unique health care needs. Families of pediatric patients from America's children's hospitals understand that access to timely, high-quality medical care can save lives. That's why two patients from NewYork-Presbyterian/Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health and NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and their families have traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss their personal health care stories with lawmakers who are carefully monitoring how health reform implementation rolls out.

Twelve-year-olds Ar'kwayica Castro and Jennifer McKiever from the Bronx and Suffern, N.Y., respectively, are joining more than 30 other families from across the nation as part of the June 15-16, 2010, National Association of Children's Hospitals (N.A.C.H.) Family Advocacy Day. The two-day event includes one-on-one Congressional visits, a luncheon on Capitol Hill with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (invited), a tour of Washington, D.C., and a celebratory dinner to honor these children known as Family Advocacy Day "All Stars."

The Castro and McKiever families came to recognize the importance of access to high-quality pediatric care through their own personal experiences. Ar'kwayica and her mother have both had success in the Hospital's Health for Life Program for weight control and have substantially minimized Ar'kwayica's risk for diabetes. Jennifer has undergone two cardiac transplants at age 5 and age 8 and is continuing to thrive in her recovery.

Advocates for accessible pediatric care point to key challenges that still exist for children and families seeking care, including:

  • Low Medicaid reimbursement for pediatric care, which limits the number of Medicaid patients that primary care pediatricians can afford to see and the number of physician residents choosing to pursue pediatric specialties;
  • A national shortage of pediatric specialists;
  • The threat of additional state-level Medicaid cuts, which can impact all children, regardless of health care insurance status;
  • Inconsistent quality measures and incentives across states;
  • Cuts in supplemental funding (disproportionate-share hospital, or DSH, payments) that support care for Medicaid patients in children's hospitals

For more information visit, and for more information on Family Advocacy Day and to follow the event on Twitter (#FAD10), visit

About the National Association of Children's Hospitals

The National Association of Children's Hospitals - N.A.C.H. - is the public policy affiliate of NACHRI. N.A.C.H. is a trade organization of 141 children's hospitals and supports children's hospitals in addressing public policy issues that affect their ability to fulfill their missions to serve children and their families. N.A.C.H. fulfills its mission and vision through federal advocacy, collaboration and communication designed to strengthen the ability of children's hospitals and health systems to influence public policy makers, understand federal and state policy issues, advance access and quality of health care for all children, and sustain financially their missions of clinical care, education, research and advocacy.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and the NewYork-Presbyterian/Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the only tri-state-area hospital listed on the 2010 U.S.News & World Report "America's Best Children's Hospitals" "Honor Roll" and one of only eight children's hospitals in the nation to be ranked in all 10 clinical specialties. NewYork-Presbyterian provides children's health services at two major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, which is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and NewYork-Presbyterian/Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health, which is affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College, have built a reputation for more than a century as two of the nation's premier centers for pediatric care. Together, they offer the best available care in every area of pediatrics -- including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric surgery -- in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. They are also major international referral centers, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Kathleen Robinson 212-821-0560