October 28, 2021

Nemours CEO: Improving children's health 'inextricably linked' to growing Florida economy

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Beth Reese Cravey writes:

"Jacksonville-based Nemours Children's Health has partnered with the Florida Chamber of Commerce to help build the state economy by building a healthy future workforce.

Florida currently has the 15th largest economy in the world. To meet the chamber goal of improving to 10th by 2030 requires improving the lives of today's children, particularly those who live in poverty and have limited access to health care, Nemours President and CEO R. Lawrence Moss said.


The issues are clear in the annual Kids Count Data Book that ranks states on 16 indicators of economic well-being, health, education and family and community factors. Norin Dollard, Kids Count director at the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], spoke at the Nemours event.

In the 2021 report, Florida was ranked 35th overall and 12th in education. But it was 42nd in economic well-being with 737,000 children, 18 percent, of its children living in poverty and 31st in health with 343,000, or 8 percent, of children without health insurance, according to the report.

'We still have a lot of work to do,' Dollard said.

Also, pandemic-related data compiled in September showed 23 percent of adults had lost income in the last four weeks, 19 percent did not know how they would pay their next rent or mortgage and 13 percent had children who did not have food to eat in the last week, she said."


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