For Immediate Release
Date: July 14, 2014
Savannah was one of eight cities selected by the National League of Cities (NLC) to receive $250,000 and technical assistance to cut in half the number of uninsured children in our community.
The Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families (CEHACF) Initiative will help cities implement comprehensive campaigns to enroll children and families in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and reduce the uninsured rate for children and families by 50% in each of the cities. Families with health insurance reduce emergency room visits, avoid crushing health care costs, and have healthier children who perform better in school.
Savannah’s initiative, coordinated by the Step Up Savannah Poverty Reduction Initiative, is called the Mayor’s Campaign for Healthy Children and Families. It will use a variety of tactics to target the estimated 5,493 children in Chatham County who are without health insurance. It is believed that more than 80 percent of those individuals are eligible for Georgia’s public health insurance programs (GaPHIPs) – Right from the Start Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids.
“If these children were to be enrolled, there would be dramatic impacts on their lives and on their families, because when a child is healthy, that child can focus on learning,” Mayor Edna Jackson said. “And education is central to solving most of the problems in our community.”
The NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families is coordinating the initiative as part of a multi-year effort to increase access to health care for children and families, funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. Each city was chosen based on the quality and feasibility of business plans that were submitted in the spring.
“Each city chosen had a rigorous business plan that detailed a clear path forward to drive down the rate of the uninsured in their communities,” said Clarence Anthony, executive director of NLC. He continued, “Each city should be commended for the positive contributions they will make to their communities. There are clear benefits to the program with healthier kids meaning better high school and college completion rates and financial savings for the community.”
NLC will provide cities with customized assistance, access to best practices and national experts and opportunities for peer learning during the implementation process. Emphasis will be placed on cross-community collaboration among city agencies, school districts, hospitals and clinics and other community-based organizations.
The other cities selected are:
• Jacksonville, Florida
• Garden City, Michigan
• New Bedford, Massachusetts
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
• Hattiesburg, Mississippi
• Providence, Rhode Island
• Dallas, Texas
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.