RELEASE: Health Experts Highlight Opportunities to Support Healthy Kids

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Boise, ID: Doctors and health policy experts convened at the Idaho Capitol today for ‘Checkup on Kids Day,’ an event sponsored by Idaho Kids Covered. The group welcomed lawmakers and the public and discussed the latest information on children’s health coverage and care trends and opportunities in the coming year to support the growth of healthy kids in Idaho.

Idaho’s health system has experienced a rollercoaster of challenges over the past two years. The pandemic caused delays in routine medical check-ups for many children, and the state is experiencing healthcare provider shortages and currently has fewer pediatricians per 100,000 children than any other state.

“In my practice today, it is not uncommon to see a child that has not had a checkup for over two years. We have seen parents who are struggling to do what’s best for their children, but cannot afford insurance premiums. And when these families can’t get their children to checkups, all sorts of diagnoses get missed, ranging from asthma, to mental health problems, to autism,” stated Dr. Noreen Womack, a pediatrician and representative of the Idaho Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Idaho Maternal and Infant Healthcare Report

Healthy births are the first step in ensuring babies grow, develop, and thrive. Yet Idaho is falling well behind in key maternal and infant health indicators. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Idaho’s ‘trigger law’ that criminalizes abortion services, maternal and infant health needs in Idaho will grow.

Now is the time to take steps to reverse Idaho’s troubling health trends by advancing a set of broad state priorities focused on improving birth outcomes, the health of infants, and the well-being of moms. As Idaho policymakers explore opportunities to increase support for pregnant women and newborns, it is essential that they consider what the data shows about the needs of families.