a project of the West Virginia Council of Churches

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Milestones in Our History

- Formation of the West Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition

The Healthy Kids Coalition (its original name) was formed in 1998 to develop statewide support for the legislative creation of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in West Virginia. Health care provider groups, the faith community, children's advocates, social service providers and others came together to support expansion of health coverage for West Virginia children through CHIP. When WVCHIP was created, the Coalition promoted the program and developed strategies to reach out to eligible children and their families to enroll them in the new program and in Medicaid. With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Sisters of Saint Joseph Charitable Fund, the Coalition developed grass roots outreach strategies in every county in West Virginia.

2000 - West Virginia Primary Care Association and West Virginia Medicaid expand outreach efforts

In 2000, the State Medicaid Agency contracted with the West Virginia Primary Care Association, one of the Coalition’s key partners, to provide money to 36 primary care clinic sites to fund outreach coordinators who would foster the mission of the Coalition. The Coalition continued to expand its membership to more local partners and state agencies.

2002 - Healthy Kids Coalition and West Virginia Council of Churches receive funding for Covering Kids and Families

In 2002, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation continued their major commitment for grassroots outreach in West Virginia communities with a new initiative called Covering Kids and Families. The Coalition continued to strengthen its partnership with the West Virginia Council of Churches, the lead agency and fiscal agent for the Robert Wood Johnson Covering Kids and Families Grant.  The Coalition modified its name to embrace families.

2003 - CHIP and Medicaid enrollment continued to increase and covered about 60 percent of all West Virginia children in a 12 month period of time.  The Coalition began to analyze “churning” in Medicaid and CHIP coverage.  State studies of child health insurance coverage suggested that while about 97 percent of West Virginia children had health insurance coverage over a 12 month period, only 93 percent had coverage at a given point in time.

2004 - The Coalition participated in a national “Process Improvement Collaborative” sponsored by the Southern Institute on Children and Families and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  With support from the national collaborative, the Coalition worked with WV CHIP, a local eligibility office and the state’s computerized eligibility system to understand the “churning” in the state Medicaid and CHIP program and to improve eligibility and re-enrollment processes to create administrative efficiencies and reduce “churning.”  The Coalition also worked with its partner organizations to support legislation to expand CHIP eligibility to children above 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  
     The Coalition partnered with the Parents As Teachers Program of United Way of Central West Virginia to interview Medicaid and CHIP families on their experiences in receiving health care.  Results suggested that Medicaid and CHIP families were well-satisfied and had good access to care during regular office hours but were unsure about what to do after hours.  Most reported that they used the Emergency Department.  The complete report is available on this website – Experiences in Receiving Health Care by West Virginia CHIP and Medicaid Families.

2005 - The Coalition partnered with the Parents as Teachers (PAT)  Program of the United Way of Central West Virginia to pilot a project to train parents in taking care of the minor medical needs of their children.  The Report, What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick: A Parent Education Pilot Study is available on this web site.  The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation funded an expansion of the pilot study to Fayette and Nicholas County.  Data on the results of these projects will be available in 2006.
     The Coalition partnered with state government, and university and private organizations to sponsor the First Annual Children’s Health Conference in November 10-12, 2005. 
     With its partner organizations, the Coalition began the development of a Child Health Report Card and Healthy Schools Report Card.  Final versions of these report cards will be available on the web site in 2006. 
     For the first time in its seven year history, the WVCHIP program is operating at its upper budget limit.  To save dollars, the program will place restrictions on its pharmacy services.  The increase in pharmacy costs for children for both CHIP and Medicaid is of concern to the Coalition both from a cost and quality of care perspective.

2006 - The Coalition sponsored six community meetings to discuss findings and recommendations for child health in West Virginia. The meetings led to a Child Health Agenda and the second annual statewide forum on child health. The Coalition also provided support for a new statewide oral health project and perinatal wellness project and actively participated in forming a new organization to address health care in West Virginia – West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
     The Coalition continues to monitor progress in West Virginia's Medicaid program and the West Virginia Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and sends a representative to meetings of the WVCHIP board of directors and meetings of the steering committee responsible for drafting a Comprehensive Medicaid Redesign Proposal. In 2006, the West Virginia legislature and Governor Joe Manchin lowered the threshold for CHIP eligibility.  Families with incomes less than 220 percent of the federal poverty level may pay a premium of $35 per month per child ($70 maximum) to receive CHIP coverage. In 2007, the Coalition will work to create a buy-in option for families up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

2007 - The Coalition continues to meet quarterly to plan for the annual Growing Healthy Children Conference and to coordinate policy related to child health. In 2007, Coalition partners worked together on projects to improve the status of oral health in West Virginia; to reorganize the Perinatal system, and to explore ways to integrate new thinking in child development into community health and primary care practice. Funding partners in 2007 have included the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Sisters of Saint Joseph Charitable Fund, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Attorney General’s Office and the West Virginia Health Care Authority.
     A state conference in October 2007 was attended by about 230 people who discussed oral health, Perinatal health and child development. The Coalition has also partnered and supported the West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its child health quality initiative.

Office Address


2207 Washington St E, Charleston, WV 25311

Phone: 304-346-8815

Fax: 304-342-1506
e-mail: info@wvhealthykids.org




WV Healthy Kids Coalition Co-Chair

Renate Pore, Ph.D.

WV Healthy Kids Coalition Co-Chair
Nancy Tolliver

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee meets four times a year in January, April, August and October.  The Coalition meets annually in November at the Child Health Forum

Renate Pore, Ph.D.,
Co-Chair, WVHKFC, (Integrating Child Development/Child Health Project)


Nancy Tolliver, Co-Chair, (Perinatal Health Project)

Cinny Kittle,
Day One Project Director, West Virginia Hospital Association

Phil Schenk/Lisa Scarberry,
WV Primary Care Association

Becky King/Eileen Barker,
WV School Health Assembly


Sharon Carte, West Virginia Children's Health Insurance Program

Joan Phillips, MD, West Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

BJ Muto, Valley Health Systems Oral Health Initiative

Phil Edwards/Betty Tyler, Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health

Perry Bryant, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care

Jim McKay, Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia1


David Majic/ Jacke Payne, Division of Child Mental Health, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Linda Anderson, Marshall University


Jeanne Cress, West Virginia Medicaid program

Participants gather at the 2006 Forum on Child Health sponsored by the Coalition

Copyright © 1999-2006 West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition
E-mail: West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition
2207 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
Updated 09/10/2020

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