One of the most pressing issues plaguing children’s health in Illinois is the higher-than-average infant mortality rate, especially among black children. A group of 85 Illinoisans are looking at that issue and others that affect child health quality in the state.
That group, which includes health care providers, business people, educators, lawmakers, parents and others, met in Chicago today (Tuesday).
The collaborative is expected in March to come up with a list of recommendations for lawmakers, the governor’s office and the Illinois Children’s Health Caucus. said Jill Fraggos, who is the executive director of the Collaborative for Children’s Health Policy. She is based at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Lurie Children’s is one of the lead organizations in the collaborative.
“Our goal is to create an integrated statewide collaborative that will guide organizations around the state in working with legislators and agency heads and changing administrations on policy and funding and programmatic decisions that affect child health and well-being,” Fraggos said.
Jill Fraggos, who is the executive director of the Collaborative for Children’s Health Policy. She is based at The Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Lurie Children’s is one of the lead organizations in the collaborative.Credit Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of ChicagoEdit | Remove
Some other major issues in kids' health that need to be addressed include data sharing among health care providers, looking at combating preventable disease through education an immunization and preventing violent injury and death, she said.
In terms of infant mortality, a racial component is involved. “Racial disparities in infant mortality really persist in Illinois, especially with infants born to black women are two to three times more likely to die than infants born to white women,” she said.
Another area of top concern is unequal access to mental health care for children.
One in 10 children have mental health issues and only about 20 percent of those connects to services, Fraggos said.
The other leading organizations in the collaborate are EverThrive Illinois, the Illinois chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, the Ounce of Prevention Fund and Voice for Illinois Children.