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01/24/2019

Department of Health Joins UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to Discuss Improving Health Outcomes for Pennsylvania’s Children


Pittsburgh, PA – Department of Health officials today joined with officials from the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to discuss the importance of providing resources to improve the health and well-being of Pennsylvania’s children.

“The health of Pennsylvania’s children is a priority of the Wolf Administration,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “It is essential that we focus on a child’s needs from the time they are born throughout their school-age years. We must ensure that the physical, mental and emotional health of the state’s youth are being addressed.”

Recently, Governor Wolf’s Ready to Start Task Force shared initial findings and key themes for addressing the needs of Pennsylvania’s youngest children during their first three years, including improving health outcomes.

Childhood obesity is a major health concern among our children, often more prevalent in minority or low-income families. Recent data shows that more than 30 percent of children in school are either overweight or obese. Pediatricians and physicians are working to address this health concern, and their work will help prevent the child from a life of health issues caused by obesity.

One area that is a focus of health care providers and the state is assisting children born addicted to opioids. Since the beginning of 2018, more than 2,100 infants have been born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is one of many programs across the state providing services for these infants.

“Addressing the whole needs of a child and their family is a priority of the Governor’s Task Force,” Dr. Levine said. “This includes making sure that affordable health care is available to everyone, regardless of their income or background. We must work to reduce any barriers that exist to getting infants, toddlers, children and their caregivers the help and support they need to live a healthy, successful life.”

More information on children’s health can be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Nate Wardle, 717-787-1783, or ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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