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Aug 27

August is SMA Awareness Month

CureSMA_Logo_CMYK.JPGSpinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. The most severe form of the disease—SMA type I—is also the most common, making SMA the leading genetic cause of death for infants.

SMA is caused by a mutation in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). In a healthy person, this gene produces a protein that is critical to the function of the nerves that control our muscles. Because individuals with SMA don’t produce this protein at high enough levels, those nerve cells cannot properly function and eventually die.

Aug 12

Pediatrician Remembers Measles Patients at Louisville General in the 1960s

MedicineBeforeVaccinesLogo.jpegIn recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month, Speak Now for Kids will be sharing articles from Medicine Before Vaccines, a new series from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

By: Olson Huff, MD, FAAP

In 1962, during my senior year in medical school, I worked at the evening clinic at Louisville General Hospital. By 6:00 pm the waiting room was full, and it was not hard, even for a medical school student like me at the time, to diagnose the many measles cases that awaited treatment as coughs filled the air and many children presented with the distinct rash and red eyes that are common with measles patients.

Aug 05

Pediatrician Remembers Measles & Diphtheria in Charleston

medbeforevaclogo.jpgIn recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month, Speak Now for Kids will be sharing articles from Medicine Before Vaccines, a new series from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

By: William R. Purcell, MD, FAAP

As a practicing pediatrician for 36 years, I often worked with patients suffering with diseases that have since been widely prevented by immunizations. During my internship in 1956, we still had patients in iron lungs because of paralysis from polio.

In the early days of my pediatric training and practice and prior to newer vaccines, I personally helped care for seven children who unfortunately died from complications occurring with measles. There was no treatment for measles and its complications, as is true today, so all that we could do was provide symptomatic and supportive care.

Jul 30

Celebrating 50 Years of a Vital Program for Kids

medicaid-50th-twitter-506x253-v2.jpgFifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the federal and state health care partnership called Medicaid.

Jul 20

Celebrating 50 Years of Medicaid on Wellness Wednesday


Moms Rising will be hosting a “Wellness Wednesday” Twitter chat to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicaid on Wednesday, July 22. The chat will focus on the importance of Medicaid and discuss many questions people have about the Medicaid program.

Jul 16

A Family's Journey With Juvenile Arthritis

July is Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Awareness Month. Charity, a mother of two children with the disease, shares her family's experience when a lump on her daughter's leg was diagnosed as a type of JA

JA_blog_1.jpgExactly a year ago, we were preparing for a fun day on our friend's boat. Full ice chest, swimsuits, and great friends. As we were getting ready to swim, we noticed a strange, lumpy discolored texture going from Tessa's hip down to her knee on her right leg. After nearly 6 years of Isabel's arthritis, I knew this was concerning. After the holiday weekend, we made appointments with her doctor and we were referred to dermatology. Our appointment was in August, a few days before her birthday. Between July 5 and The August appointment, I lost track of how many times we heard, "wow, I've never seen anything like that!" Not reassuring to hear that from your doctor!

Jul 13

Help Medicaid Celebrate a Milestone

During the month of July, we will be celebrating Medicaid’s 50th birthday. Medicaid is a joint federal and state health insurance program created to serve as a safety net for America’s most vulnerable.

Medicaid is the single largest insurer for children. It currently provides comprehensive and affordable health care coverage to an estimated 33 million low-income children and children with disabilities.

Jul 08

Health Affairs Journal Features Medically Complex Child in Medicaid Issue

You may remember Lily as one of the children profiled during March’s Medicaid for Kids Month. Her father, Anthony Putney, shares the family’s story in the July issue of Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal focusing on health policy thought and research.

Jul 02

Stars, Stripes and Sparks: Tips to having a fun and safe Fourth of July

fireworks.jpgFourth of July celebrations often involve cookouts, swimming, parties and parades, all topped off with fireworks!

Firework safety is always important, but it is especially important to keep a close eye on children when lighting fireworks off at home. A few tips to help you have a fun and safe Fourth of July.

Jun 19

Child Patients Save 2015 Family Advocacy Day!

More than 230 people, including 44 child patients from across the U.S. and their family members, participated this week at the 11th annual Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. Patients ranged from one-year old to 19 years old with a variety of medical conditions. Their perseverance through challenging circumstances made them heroes in our eyes.

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