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Get Your Tickets for Children’s Action Alliance’s Annual Fundraising Luncheon

Be treated to live youth entertainment from Osborn Middle School and Camelback High School, get inspired to make Arizona a better place for children and mingle with your colleagues at the 18th Annual Through the Eyes of a Child fundraising luncheon next month in Phoenix. There is still time to get your tickets online, whether you are purchasing for yourself or a sponsoring a full table for your organization.

This year’s theme is Justice: Through the Eyes of a Child and will honor attorney Nicole Stanton for the Stop Bullying AZ program and the Arizona Juvenile Courts for their Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. Luncheon details are:

When: Friday, October 21, 2016

11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Where:  Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa

2400 E. Missouri Avenue, Phoenix

TEOC art for enews (3)

To purchase tickets online, click this link or contact Sheryl Worthy by Friday, September 30th.

New Census Data Finds Drop in Uninsured Children in Arizona

canstockphoto12581956Some good news from the U.S. Census Bureau this week, as the agency released data on more than 40 different topics in the American Community Survey. Notable in the data is a significant drop in the percentage of children without health coverage in Arizona. The data, from 2015, estimates that, 8% of Arizona’s children remained uninsured in 2015, compared with 10% in 2014.

The drop mirrors a national trend toward declining numbers of uninsured children. However, Arizona still ranks third in the country in the number of uninsured kids. We have a lot of work to do to just get to the national average, but thankfully our legislators responded to this call for action by reinstating KidsCare this past legislative session.

Help us get the word out that KidsCare is back as a low-cost coverage option for Arizona families, particularly those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid (known as AHCCCS in Arizona), yet cannot afford the premiums of private or Marketplace health plans. Parents can get free help by making an appointment online at www.CoverAZ.org/connector or by calling 1.800.377.3536.

New Audit Finds Good Performance by State’s Early Childhood Program Agency

photo of mom and baby for FTF enewsLate last month, the Arizona Auditor General’s office released its long awaited audit of First Things First, Arizona’s Early Childhood Development and Health Board. The audit was authorized nearly a year ago by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and was extensive in nature taking a look at everything from financial practices to performance accountability for grantees. Overall, the agency performed well with no findings or recommended changes in five of the seven areas reviewed by the audit team.

The report notes that “FTF has taken steps to manage its declining tobacco tax revenues and strategically plan for its future” and goes to great length to outline those efforts.  They’ve additionally found that the agency is indeed expending its funds to implement policies and programs in accordance with the original intent of the statute approved by voters.This detailed report of the agency is helpful for both community partners and policy makers and should help to answer most of the recurring questions raised at the Capitol.  With these concerns addressed, we look forward to building upon the progress that has been made to develop a seamless early childhood system that helps children entering Kindergarten be prepared to succeed in school and in life.

The executive summary of the report can be found here.

Welcome Our Newest CAA Team Member

Siman HeadshotWe are pleased to introduce our newest staff member, Siman Qaasim, who joins Children’s Action Alliance as Director of Health Policy.

Siman is a well-seasoned public health professional, with a background in developing and administering community health programs. She joins the team from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, where she was an administrator for the Office of School Health and Wellness Initiatives. Siman’s career has taken her all over the world, from working in international policy analysis in Washington, D.C. to Nassau, Bahamas as a director of health and safety.

Siman is a past recipient of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 recognition for her community service work, which includes involvement in various nonprofit health organizations. She is an alumnus of Valley Leadership Class 35 and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

KidsCare Coverage Starts Now

canstockphoto9264605It was a hard-fought battle to lift the freeze on KidsCare, but Arizona families won. As of today, working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS) yet cannot afford the premiums, deductibles and co-pays of a private or Health Insurance Marketplace plan, can now get their children to a doctor as soon as they need one.

KidsCare has been frozen since 2010. AHCCCS estimates more than 30,000 children will qualify for KidsCare.

We know that it is good for kids, families and the community when children are healthy. They miss fewer classes, parents take less time off work and worry less when they know their kids’ health needs will be met.

Help us spread the word that KidsCare is back and encourage Arizona families you know to get help applying by scheduling a free appointment at www.CoverAZ.org or calling 1-800-377-3536. Computer-savvy parents can also apply by visiting www.HealthEArizonaPlus.gov and completing the process online.