President’s Message
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A Focus on the First 1,000 Days

In August, New York’s Medicaid agency kicked off an innovative “First 1,000 Days” initiative, focused on the first three years of a child’s life. The first 1,000 days of life present a crucial period of opportunity to support optimal development with lifelong consequences, as a child’s brain develops rapidly in the first three years. 

This early period of a child’s life is important, not just for their physical health and development, but is also a critical period in terms of cognitive and emotional development. And interventions that help to ensure healthy development and reduce childhood adversity in the early years have been shown to contribute to better physical and mental health. By taking an intentional focus to the early days (and weeks, months and years!) of a child’s life, New York has the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our children, with benefits that continue into youth and adulthood.

Because 59 percent of all children age zero to three in New York State are covered by Medicaid, the Medicaid program can play an important role in ensuring strong outcomes for a large number of children. Also, since Medicaid is such an important payer of services, it has the capacity to drive the quality of how health care providers and others interact with children and their families. 

The First 1,000 Days initiative is a collaborative effort, bringing together stakeholders, charged with developing a ten–point agenda to focus on enhancing access to services and improving outcomes for children on Medicaid in their first 1,000 days of life. I have been invited by New York’s Medicaid Director, Jason Helgerson, to help lead this initiative, together with Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Dr. Jeff Kaczorowski from The Children’s Agenda, with a fantastic team – Chad Shearer and Suzanne Brundage – from the United Hospital Fund, and an impressive group of passionate and smart work group participants. A link to materials from our first meeting is here.

New York State is leading the way with this work and our friends in other states are watching.  While some policymakers in Washington, DC are focused on simply cutting funds from health coverage for people in need, we in New York are working to build systems that generate better outcomes and save money in the long- and short-term. 

This initiative is an exciting opportunity for the State to build connections among disparate systems to holistically support families with young children. I wholeheartedly look forward to working with our state and community partners on innovations for a strong start for all NY children.

Kate Breslin
President & CEO

 

Archives:

7/25/17 – The Fight is Not Over

7/19/17 – Celebrate Today–But Get Back to Work Tomorrow

6/28/17 – The Fight is Not Over: Keep Up the Pressure to Stop Passage of Damaging Health Bills

5/26/17 – The Very Real Threat to Children’s Health Coverage

04/26/17 – New York (Finally!) Raises the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction

03/22/17 – Tell Congress to Vote No on Health Bill

02/23/17 – February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

12/9/16 – Transforming Child Welfare and Children’s Lives

10/16/16 – Reducing Poverty IS Economic Development

07/12/16 – A Look Back at Session

05/25/16 – Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation

04/18/16 – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

12/21/15 – Our Wish for 2016: Strong Families, Healthy Children & Smart Investments

10/30/15 – Strengthening Families and Combating Poverty through Two-Generation Interventions

10/9/15 – Looking Forward to 2016

07/30/15 – Wishing Medicaid a Happy Birthday and Many More!

07/09/15 – New York Must Focus on Children and Families

06/18/15 – Wage Board Must Look Beyond Fast Food

05/28/15 – Food Insecurity is an Economic Issue

04/29/15 – Child Abuse Prevention Month

04/07/15 – Addressing Income Inequality in the 2015-16 NYS Budget

01/26/15 – Oral Health Report Recommends Prevention Policies

12/16/14 – Medicaid to 26

08/07/14 – It is time to treat children in the justice system as children

07/07/14 – Keep NY Smiling Issue Brief 2

05/29/14 – Rolling up our sleeves for prevention

04/07/14 – Keep NY Smiling Launch