Jackson to send team to health care training

Jackson is one of 22 cities chosen to participate in a regional leadership academy that focuses on methods to connect more children and families with affordable health care.

Two leadership academies are sponsored by the National League of Cities' Institute for Youth, Education and Families. Part of the institute's Cities Expanding Health Care for Children and Families initiative, the academies--including travel, lodging and food--are funded by a grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Follow-up grants for implementation also will be available to some participants.

Specifically, at the academy, a team from Jackson will share its success in enrolling children in Medicaid and other affordable health-care programs. Team members also will learn from experts on Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) about successful enrollment techniques and other cities on how their efforts have led to healthier communities, thanks to healthier younger citizens.

Slated to represent Jackson at the Denver conference July 25-26 are Mayor Martin Griffin; County Commissioner Julie Alexander, chair of the county's Human Services Committee; Molly Kaser, president and CEO of the Center for Family Health; and Mary Cunningham-Deluca, director, Children's Programs, Community Action Agency.

In the Jackson team's application, it detailed the current local efforts to enroll children in Medicaid and other programs, but it noted that many entities are involved, creating a scattered--and not well-coordinated--effort. It hopes to improve that by using an existing network of sharing services in the county, and gleaning and then applying best practices from the academy.

Although the Affordable Care Act will change the health-care landscape to include more American families, about 70 percent of the nation's uninsured children qualify for health-care coverage through existing Medicaid and CHIP programs, known as MiChild in Michigan.

The cities selected include smaller cities, like Jackson and Garden City, Mich., to metropolises, such as Houston, Newark and Baltimore. The other regional conference will be in Baltimore in September.

Published: Thu, Jul 4, 2013

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