Mar 14

Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?

Amid an opioid epidemic, the rise of deadly synthetic drugs and the widening legalization of marijuana, a curious bright spot has emerged in the youth drug culture: American teenagers are growing less likely to try or regularly use drugs, including alcohol.

With minor fits and starts, the trend has been building for a decade, with no clear understanding as to why. Some experts theorize that falling cigarette-smoking rates are cutting into a key gateway to drugs, or that antidrug education campaigns, long a largely failed enterprise, have finally taken hold.

But researchers are starting to ponder an intriguing question: Are teenagers using drugs less in part because they are constantly stimulated and entertained by their computers and phones?

Mar 14

Dear Ivanka, Let’s Talk About the AHCA.

Dear Ivanka,

Hi. My name is Kyla. I live in Texas. I am married to a great guy who works in IT and we have three kids, two of whom have medical needs well beyond the typical ear infections and viruses of childhood. They have major medical conditions that will follow them for life. I’m writing you because I’m told that you are a champion for women and families, and we need a champion right now. I’m also writing you because I’m told you have your father’s ear, and maybe you have the power to turn the tide for families like mine. I hope you do.

I need to talk to you about the proposed AHCA and per capita caps for Medicaid. I understand that you are probably frustrated with the ACA, as many are, and I can see that it is far from perfect. In fact, my husband and I are both uninsured because we fall into the gap between being eligible for Medicaid and affording a Marketplace plan (even with a subsidy) like roughly 29 million other Americans. I agree that IS a problem! However, the AHCA does nothing to rectify this situation, instead it compounds it. If my husband and I were to get seriously ill, we *might* be able to scrape together the money for coverage with the ACA, but with an additional 30% charge for an entire year as the AHCA proposes, it would be permanently out of reach. Can you imagine if the fire department told people, “You should have called us before your house was on fire. We are going to charge you a premium surcharge because you’ve called us for rescue now that you need it.”? If one of us gets seriously ill, we would have to seek care at a hospital and it would result in bills we cannot pay. The cost of uncompensated care is shared between property taxes and increased costs to insurers (which are passed on to their customers), and it costs taxpayers much more than preventative care and out of hospital treatment. This fact seems to be overlooked in most conversations about providing people with healthcare, because the truth is we are ALL already paying for it. At this point, we are just providing people with lower quality care for higher costs and causing bankruptcy for many of our citizens. It hurts our economy and it hurts families and individuals. We can do better. I hope you’ll help me to tell people that we can, and should, do better.

Mar 13

Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays -- Madeline and Camille

Every Monday Speak Now for Kids is celebrating Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays with posts highlighting the importance of Medicaid in children’s access to health care. This week we hear from Lori, the mother of Madeline and Camille, who represented Norton Children's Hospital at the 2010 Speak Now for Kids’ Family Advocacy Day.


Madeline and Camille are happy, healthy young ladies who are thriving—both physically and academically—but this wasn’t always the case.

Diagnosed with tethered cord syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that limits the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column, both girls have undergone delicate spinal cord surgeries to alleviate bladder and bowel problems; pain and tingling in their legs and feet; severe headaches; extreme fatigue; toe walking; and problems with basic motor skills. The family is extremely grateful to their surgeon Tom Moriarty, MD and Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY.

Mar 06

Yes, health care is complicated

As Congress ramps up the debate on health care this week, your voice matters more than ever. Over 36 million U.S. children rely on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for their health coverage and access to care.

Learn why Congress must not reduce children’s health care benefits.

Mar 01

National Nutrition Month is Here

Led by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in March each year, National Nutrition Month highlights the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Feb 28

Henry’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Henry’s mom, Rachel, will share his story.


Henry was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on March 15, 2013 — seven weeks early. Up until that point, everything was going perfectly, the way it should. I had great appointments and ultrasounds and the baby was developing well — he was bigger than he should have been at that point — so when my water broke at 33 weeks, we were all in shock.

I was admitted to Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, the hospital that was associated with my OB/GYN, but when they hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor, they knew something wasn’t right. Henry’s heart rate was significantly lower than it should have been. They rushed me to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo for an emergency C-section.  

 

 

Feb 28

Keegan's Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Keegan’s mom, Andrea, will share his story.


On December 31, 2012, my husband and I visited the Children’s Heart Center at Strong in Rochester, NY, for a fetal echocardiogram. The ultrasound technician in our obstetrician’s office had been unable to get an acceptable view of our twins’ hearts in-utero. It was that day that our world was completely changed — we learned one of our twins would be born with transposition of the great arteries. From that point on, I would be followed by a specialty, high risk team of obstetricians. We were fortunate enough, the boys and I, to make it to 39 weeks at delivery. Both babies were immediately whisked away to be checked over and to receive echocardiograms to ensure that they received the best care. Our baby “A,” Keegan, would require life-saving heart surgery as soon as possible. 

Feb 27

Zoey's Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Zoey’s mom, Tori, will share her story.


My journey as a heart mama

Blake and I went to our 20-week ultrasound brimming with excitement to discover what we were having. Mixed with the joy that we were having a princess came the shock that she had a serious congenital heart defect. I was dumbfounded; I did not know that babies could be born with broken hearts. We went into the appointment as normal future parents and walked out as heart parents-to-be. My pregnancy was filled with doctors, echoes, blood work and genetic testing instead of baby showers and maternity pictures. We chose the name Zoey — which means life in Greek.

Feb 26

Megan H.'s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Megan, a former child patient at Texas Children’s Hospital, and editor of the Texas Children’s Blog, will share her story.


Celebrating 10 years with a new heart

Originally posted June 15, 2016

Ten years ago, a family lost their daughter. Ten years ago, a 17-year-old lost her best friend. Ten years ago, friends, family and loved ones had to say goodbye to a girl who passed away too soon.

Feb 23

Barrett’s Story

In recognition of American Heart Month, members from the Speak Now for Kids community will be sharing their personal experiences of being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect (CHD).

Today, Barrett’s mom, Jessica, will share his story.


When I gave birth to my son, Barrett, I had no idea that anything was out of the ordinary. My pregnancy had been fairly typical with two normal ultrasounds. After a long and exhaustive labor that started with a two-hour car ride to a Duluth hospital from the North Shore of Minnesota and led to an emergency cesarean, Barrett arrived at 2:50 a.m. on July 30th, 2014 — just hours after his due date. He was perfect and finally here. We spent that entire day with a newborn that behaved exactly like newborns do: eating like a champ, getting his first bath from the pretty nurses, meeting new friends and family and filling his diapers.

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