Inspiring the business community and policymakers to partner with Nemours Children’s Health was the goal of “The Future of Children’s Health in Florida,” a breakfast event that served as a kickoff to the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual Future of Florida Forum in Orlando on Wednesday.
At the event, Robert Bridges, Enterprise Executive Vice President and Chief Executive of Florida Operations for Nemours Children’s Health, and a Florida Chamber Foundation Board Trustee, praised the Florida Chamber for adopting the Child Health Ranking on its Florida 2030 Blueprint, which seeks to improve children’s health into the top 10 by the year 2030. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Florida is currently ranked 35, based on measures of economic well-being, education and health, among others. (www.floridakidscount.org and https://datacenter.kidscount.org/)
Nemours Children’s Health President and CEO R. Lawrence Moss, MD, FACS, FAAP, then spoke about the correlation between children’s health and the economy, and how Nemours intends to go beyond medicine, and play a leading role in fundamentally changing how America provides health to children. He reiterated Nemours’ belief that our role in keeping children healthy and out of the hospital is just as important as the care we provide when they are in the hospital. Investing in children’s health is the single most powerful means to ensure a healthy generation of Americans and a robust economy, he said. To transform the definition of child health and the way we pay for it to leverage this power is by aligning the financial incentives of health with those of patients and families.
“The Florida 2030 Plan demonstrates that as business and civic leaders, you understand that improving Florida’s economic and healthcare future is not a matter of the next greatest medical discovery, but rather a strategy to systematically address the social determinants of health, including lifting children out of poverty; early childhood development, education and literacy across the life span; reducing the adverse childhood experience that threaten long-term physical and mental health; food security, safe and healthy housing, and more,” said Dr. Moss.
Norin Dollard, Ph.D., Kids Count Director, Florida Policy Institute, explained the current state of Florida’s child health and well-being rankings. The program also included a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Nemours Chief of Population Health, on the importance of investing in children through collaboration. Panelists were Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris; David Odahowski, President and CEO of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation; Nathan Landsbaum, Plan President and CEO of Sunshine Health; and Florida State Rep. Rene “Coach P” Plasencia.
To watch a recording of the event, visit https://youtu.be/cR3yKZohZCo