School Officials Urging Parents to Enroll Children in Healthy Families
California educators are attempting to increase awareness of Healthy Families among parents and students, letting them know about the state's CHIP program at back-to-school nights, pizza parties and parent-teacher conferences. The Los Angeles Times reports that schools, which "play a central role" in the lives of children and communities, "seem an ideal place to reach out" to the estimated thousands of children who are eligible for the program but whose parents may not know about it. Donald Attore, who is working on an outreach program for the California Teacher's Union, said, "If the program is explained properly, the parents are going to be there for the kids." Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) recently attended back-to-school night at Edmondson School in Norwalk, where she urged parents -- in both Spanish and English -- to enroll their children in Healthy Families. In the communities of Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Bell and Montebello, which Escutia represents, an estimated 70,000 children are uninsured. "That is absolutely unacceptable," she said. Meanwhile, the California Association of Health Plans has expressed interest in working with schools to promote Healthy Families. "It's obvious that's the way to reach huge numbers of children," Walter Zelman, the association's president, said (Colvin, Los Angeles Times, 10/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.