Here's What Advocates Are Saying About CHGME

Last week we told you that the Senate has introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Program (CHGME), which provides vital funding for training pediatricians and pediatric specialists. As we mentioned, it’s important that this program is reauthorized as so many of our pediatricians-in-training – not to mention our kids – depend on it. But, to paraphrase Reading Rainbow’s Levar Burton, you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what some folks have written to their members of Congress in support of CHGME.

“My son has Achondroplasia, and without access to specialized pediatricians he would not be getting the care he needs to help him avoid debilitating complications such as permanent spine damage. We travel from NY to Deleware several times a year to ensure my son is treated by those most knowledgeable about his condition. Without the care and advice we are getting from his specialists as well as their coordination with his local pediatricians, my son would likely be in a wheelchair and possibly paralyzed.” Kari C., New York 

“Our daughter was treated at (Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters) for bone cancer. On one emergency visit to the hospital, if one of her residents had not played close attention to her, she would have died from a ruptured appendix. The care she received from both her residents and attending was priceless.” Melia T., Virginia

“I am the Chief Resident at UT Southwestern in Dallas and each year we graduate 30 pediatricians and this would NOT be possible without CHGME funding.” Laura Beth M., Texa“As the residency program director at a large free-standing children's hospital, I know first-hand the critical need for funding to train future pediatricians.” Sharon U., Illinois

“As a pediatric nurse, a mother, and your constituent, I am writing to tell you that it is absolutely imperative that this important program is reauthorized this year.” Jennifer H. Ohio

“I am a Virginia Beach pediatrician who completed her residency training at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.  I have dedicated my life to not only caring for the children of America, but being their advocate.  I cannot keep silent on this issue.  CHKD is a training institute like no other.  I truly believe the quality of pediatricians trained therein is unlike any other.  We do all we can to protect the Residency Program and insure the children of tomorrow have the highest quality physicians to protect them.”  Kristin H., Virginia

“As a professional trainer, I see daily the tremendous benefits of providing ongoing education for our medical practitioners.  As medical technology and practices are constantly being updated, it is essential that our practitioners continue to be educated to the ‘best practices’ for caring for our children.” Richard C., California

“I work directly with the pediatric intensive care fellows.  The training they receive during their 3 years in specialty training is critical to the health of our children.  Fellows and residents staff the unit and care for thousands of critically ill children every year.  The supervised training here is the foundation for creating competent specialty doctors who can treat our most critically ill precious children for the years to come.  We must continue our commitment to train our physicians with adequate resources.” Jennifer F., California

“I have worked in (children’s health care) for almost 30 years, and know firsthand the value of having pediatric residents involved in the care of our patients even as they are receiving specialized education to further their education in caring for the medical needs of children in our community.  CHGME is a ‘win-win’ for children, pediatricians, and society.  The program is deserving of your full support.” Evelyn K., Virginia

“I work at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, we provide high quality care to all of our children, but in truth waiting 30-60 days for an appointment when your child is sick is not acceptable.  The primary reason for those long waits is too few Providers.  Primary care is being addressed by Children's with My Children's primary care offices, but again the CHGME program provides the physicians needed to see kids at My Children's and keep them out of the emergency room.  I know money is tight, but the children are our future and they must get the care they deserve in the place and by the people who can best provide that care. Please vote for CHGME.” Debra S., Texas

“I am a pediatric subspecialist, taking care of children with a range of gastrointestinal disorders.  I take pride in my training and expertise, and am grateful for the training and expertise of my colleagues.  Working together, we can help children to survive and thrive despite potentially serious illness and injuries.  Recent financial developments, however, make me concerned about the future.  How many doctors will there be who have been trained the way that we have?” Rebecca C., California

“My 15-month old grandson was diagnosed with cranial stenosis just a few weeks after he was born.  Because of the leading-edge pediatric advancements at Rady Children’s' Hospital, San Diego, my grandson was able to have the new minimally invasive surgical procedure to have this defect corrected.  It involved making two small incisions in his scalp, and just one night's stay in the hospital.  There are only two pediatric neurosurgeons trained to do this new procedure, and one happened to be in San Diego where we live.  The old procedure involved making an ear-to-ear incision across the top of the head, resulting is a more complicated surgery and longer recovery, and noticeable scarring.” – Debbie B., California

“My daughter has a medical condition known as cerebral palsy, which slowed her physical development as a child.  Due to the specialized care that children's hospitals have provided me daughter (care that she would not have been able to get anywhere else), she is able to participate with her peers in a whole range of activities and has an opportunity to live a relatively normal life where she hopefully will be able to support herself as an adult. Thus, our family knows firsthand the importance of CHGME to the lives of our children.” Gerry R., Virginia

“One of the main clinics that the residents train in is the Primary Care Clinic at Cincinnati Children's.  There are over 10,000 patient encounters a year in this clinic. This clinic serves a population that is 94% Medicaid.  Without the work of the residents in this clinic the healthcare safety net in Hamilton County would be dramatically impacted.  As we all have been asked to make the ‘difficult’ budget decisions over the past few years, we cannot ignore those budget items that are vital to our community, our city and state, and perhaps the world.  As a parent of two who has greatly benefitted from the expertise of specially trained pediatric physicians, I am not willing to trade in the CHGME program and the critical role it plays in maintaining a pediatric workforce available for all kids.” Marcia B. Ohio

So there you have it. Have you raised your voice in support of CHGME yet? If not, please Speak Now for Kids today. Sending a letter to your legislators will take just a few minutes, but can make a big impact.

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