a project of the West Virginia Council of Churches

Home     About Us     Find Coverage     Calendar     News     Links     Downloads   Our Meetings  Join Us

Children’s Health ~ West Virginia’s Wealth
Community Conversations on Child Health
Spawn Updated Agenda

     Throughout 2006, The Healthy Kids and Families Coalition and the the West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics met with professionals and parents interested in the health of West Virginia children. We shared what we have learned about the health of children in our state and listened to the child health concerns of West Virginians from around Charleston, Huntington, Martinsburg, Lewisburg, Morgantown and Parkersburg. We learned from our meeting participants how we can support the work of health, education and social service professionals in communities across the state. We saw these meetings as essential to building a network of West Virginians who want to collaborate to improve the health of children.

     We asked meeting participants to tell us the three top children’s health issues for their communities. While expressions of the problems varied, the issues identified clustered by a large margin around three topics: 1. obesity and /nutritional concerns 2. the cost and availability of mental health services for children and 3. oral health. These top three were followed closely by topics, variously stated, pertaining to the accessibility of health care services: from after-hours accessibility through physical accessibility to accessibility related to cost. The need for health education and prevention made a strong showing. Most identified the need for parental education, some pinpointed prenatal education, others identified the need for direct education of children themselves.

     A few responders were concerned about perinatal issues including low birth weight babies, lack of breastfeeding, and newborn screening. A large number of responders were concerned about the prevalence of child abuse and neglect and drug abuse among West Virginia parents. A smattering of other issues were identified.

     When asked to identify the most important child health issues we should work together on as a state, many responses showed respondent interest in legislation to increase access to quality health care through the funding of existing and new programs, especially those related to oral and mental health for kids. The primary health issue concerns identified among the "three top health issues" were repeated on many of the cards as important issues we should work on.
Our meetings with West Virginians from around the state have allowed us to develop a Children’s Health Agenda for the coming year.
Read our full report and agenda here.
Download the PowerPoint presentation from the meetings here. (5MB)
(In order to view this presentation, you may need to download and install a free PowerPoint viewer if you don't have PowerPoint already installed on your machine. To download the 2003 PowerPoint Viewer, click here.)

State Partners for Child Health

First Lady Gayle Manchin ~ Healthy Kids and Families Coalition ~ West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics ~ Sisters of Saint Joseph Health and Wellness Foundation ~ Sisters of Saint Joseph Charitable Fund  ~WV Council of Churches ~ WVU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health ~ WV Community Voices

Meetings were funded with generous support from the
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation



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 11/01/2020

Website Design and Maintenance by Joe Miller