Be an Advocate

Advocate for Healthy Moms, Babies and Families!

Click the links below to find out how you can be an advocate for healthy moms, babies and families, and resources you can use in your advocacy efforts. Healthy Start thanks you for your time, interest and concern for our community!

Community Action Tools
Adoption: Help Promote Adoption in Florida
Florida Children’s Movement
National Movement for Children
Perinatal HIV AIDS: A Call for Action in Your Community

Get Ready to Be a Big Voice for Little Kids (TM) in 2017!

Be a Big Voice for Little KidsTM in 2017! As the Senate considers health care changes, the future of 34 million children served by Medicaid is profoundly threatened. Today, join advocates across the country in letting your Senators know that Medicaid is a foundational protection to the health of babies – and our country!

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), recently passed by the House, would dramatically restructure Medicaid by capping federal payments to states for their Medicaid program as well as rolling back the expansion to more adults, cutting funding by $834 billion over ten years. Faced with drastically limited budgets, states will be forced to severely reduce the health care coverage they provide, tightening eligibility and increasing cost burden to patients. For young children, these hard choices could mean constricting Early, Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) benefits, a robust coverage mechanism that ensures children can receive medically necessary services. Many parents who benefit from Medicaid expansion that enables them to better nurture their children would lose coverage. While the Senate is not expected to consider the AHCA in its current form, they may consider different elements of the bill, including those that impact Medicaid. Be a Big Voice for Little KidsTM and tell your Senators to reject Medicaid caps and cuts that threaten the health and future of our country’s young children and their families.

Call: Find the phone numbers for your Senators here and call their offices. Personalize the script below to share with a health care staffer or as a voicemail message. If you’d like more information about the AHCA before you call, click here.

  • Hi, my name is ____ and I’m a constituent. Capping federal funding for Medicaid threatens the nation’s most vulnerable babies and families – and our future. I urge the Senator to reject Medicaid caps and cuts and give babies the healthy start they need to thrive.  

Twitter: Find your Senators’ Twitter handles here. Use the sample tweets below, and tag your Senators. Don’t forget to reach out to both!

  • Nearly ½ of Medicaid beneficiaries are children: 30+mill low‐income kids rely on benefits. @(insert Senator’s Twitter handle), #SaveMedicaid
  • #Healthcare for babies = a healthy future for America. #SaveMedicaid, @(insert Senator’s Twitter handle)!
  • As you make AHCA decisions, babies & families need your protection, @(insert Senator’s Twitter handle)! #SaveMedicaid
  • Medicaid = smart health care 4 kids, incl #EPSDT. @(insert Senator’s Twitter handle), don’t make states cut benefits. #SaveMedicaid

Facebook: Use the post below (or your own) to ask your networks to join us!

  • Medicaid caps, cuts, and reduced coverage for parents threaten the way hundreds of thousands of young children across the country start out in life. Our Senators are making Medicaid decisions now. Please join us in asking them to #SaveMedicaid: http://bit.ly/2rYulpl

Your Big Voice for Little Kids can make a big difference at this crucial time!

Here are some additional advocacy tools:

  1. Consider the issues that most concern you.  Learn more about the issues on ZERO TO THREE’s policy agenda. Decide where you want to focus your attention.
  2. Reflect on your skills and make a plan. Everyone can be an advocate! Use the You Have What It Takes advocacy tool to think about the specific skills that you bring to the table and how you can be the most effective advocate for infants and toddlers in your community. Then, use the tool to make a concrete plan to take action.
  3. Explore ZERO TO THREE’s advocacy tools.  Are you a new advocate?  You might want to read the glossary of policy terms or to learn how a bill becomes a law.  Are you more experienced, but looking for a refresher?  Get some tips here for how to plan a site visit for an elected official,  how to use data, or how to message infant toddler issues.  Looking for something deeper?  Scroll through!  There is information for every infant and toddler advocate, and tools to support your work around specific issues!

ZERO TO THREE Policy Network would love to hear about your advocacy! Let them know at policycenter@zerotothree.org.

advocate

A Healthy Baby Begins with You Campaign

Let’s face it! Infant mortality rates among African American babies are twice as high as those of the general population. But many of the causes of infant mortality are preventable and “A Healthy Baby Begins with You.” In May 2007, the Office of Minority Health (OMH), of the Department of Health and Human Services, launched “A Healthy Baby Begins with You” – a national campaign to raise awareness about infant mortality with an emphasis on the African American community and as one of our efforts to end health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. Click the links below to learn more information about A Healthy Baby Begins with You:

Crisis in the Crib: Saving our Babies Video
Crisis in the Crib: The Role of Men
General information and video address from campaign spokesperson, Tonya Lee
Host an Event
Involved Organizations
Media Kit
Multimedia Resources

Brain Hero Video
Following two-year collaboration with the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California to develop and test new ways of communicating the science of early childhood development, the Center on the Developing Child has released the collaboration’s first product, “Brain Hero.” The three-minute video depicts how actions by a range of people in the family and community can affect a child’s development. Based loosely on such games as “Guitar Hero,” “SimCity,” and “The Game of Life,” the video adapts the visual sensibility of interactive game models to a video format and portrays how actions taken by parents, teachers, policymakers, and others can influence life outcomes for both the child and the surrounding community. To watch the video, click here.

Every Woman Southeast – Advocate for the Wellbeing of Women in the South Eastern United States
Every Woman Southeast is a coalition of leaders and agencies from eight states working together to build a multi-state, multi-layered partnership to improve the health of women and infants in the south. For more information, visit Every Woman Southeast.

Healthy Families Florida: A Proven Solution!
The Healthy Families Florida Program is a proven solution for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. With increasingly limited resources, it is critical that Florida prioritize funding for programs and services that yield the greatest possible return for our economic future. Healthy Families Florida is a wise investment for today’s children and families and tomorrow’s economic security. Child abuse and neglect disrupts a child’s brain architecture, damaging the developing brain and leading to problems in learning and behavior and increased susceptibility to physical and mental illness over time. It may also perpetuate a generational cycle of abuse.

Research and experience indicate that it can cost Florida taxpayers $64,377 a year to care for an abused or neglected child. This estimate is conservative and includes only costs for child welfare services, hospitalization, special education and juvenile justice. Healthy Families prevents child abuse and neglect for $1,671 a year per child, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. Click the links below for more information and resources regarding this program:

Healthy Families Program Overview
Healthy Families Talking Points
Healthy Families Statistics
Catholic Conference Letter
Florida Sheriff’s Letter
Florida Sheriff’s Position Paper

Infant Mortality Awareness Campaign
The National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) is committed to improving birth rates in this country. As a nation-wide membership association, NHSA primarily serves the federally funded Healthy Start Projects in 38 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The mission of NHSA is to promote the development of community-based maternal and child health programs, particularly those addressing the issues of infant mortality, low birth weight and racial disparities in perinatal outcomes. As part of its mission, NHSA supports the expansion of a wide range of activities and efforts that are rooted in the community and actively involve community residents in their design and implementation. The Association’s primary purpose is to expand the capacity of community-based maternal and child health (MCH) and Infant mortality preventive health services, thereby ensuring that all families have access to a continuum of affordable quality health care and related services. NHSA’s purpose is to be an effective advocate in policies and programs that improve the health status of women, infants and families and strengthen the capacity of Healthy Start programs and community-based MCH organizations nationwide. There are 104 Healthy Start projects throughout the nation.

To learn more about the Infant Mortality Awareness Campaign, click here. To download the National Healthy Start Infant Mortality Awareness toolkit with information on how you can become an Infant Mortality Awareness Advocate, click here.