Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day

By Kelly Ray

I just got back from an awesome trip to Washington, DC with my mother and my older sister. We were there to attend Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day with Dr. Jim Shmerling, Ann Taylor and Jane Baird, the CEO, Chief Administrative Officer, and Senior Director of Government Relations at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, respectively. Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day is an annual event that gives patients and families from children’s hospitals across the country the opportunity to advocate on behalf of children’s health!

In Washington, I had the incredible opportunity to speak with people on Capitol Hill about Connecticut Children’s and the ACE Kids Act. ACE Kids would improve the way Medicaid works for our country’s sickest children. I shared my cancer story in the offices of our Connecticut Congressional delegation. I’d like to thank Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, and Representative Courtney for inviting us to their offices to advocate for children’s hospitals across the country.

fullsizerender-5Due to the sit in for gun control that occurred in the House of Representatives, we did not get to meet with our other Connecticut Representatives. We are, however, thrilled to know that Congressman Larson and Congresswoman Esty, along with the entire Connecticut delegation, are supportive of the proposed legislation for ACE Kids, as well as other federal programs like the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education payment program and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

img_5755I did not know before our trip that more than half of the patients treated at Connecticut Children’s (& other children’s hospitals) rely on Medicaid and the current way that Medicaid pays for their services puts children’s hospitals in a very difficult financial situation. If something doesn’t change, I worry that children’s hospitals will no longer be able to give kids the care they so desperately need!

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