Stories about: Cost of healthcare

Children's helps bring healthy food to the community

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard plenty of healthcare experts stressing the importance of eating healthy food like fresh fruits and vegetables. The message may sound a little repetitive at times, but it’s important advice; whole, unprocessed foods  are not only good for our bodies, but for our waistlines too. And as obesity continues to dramatically affect the health of millions of Americans, it’s clear that more of us need pay closer attention to what the experts are saying.

But for many Americans, the shift towards eating healthy food isn’t so easy. Adding more greens to the grocery list is good advice, but it’s easier said than done for a lot of people. The high cost and limited availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in some areas makes them practically unobtainable to a substantial portion of the population.

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Children's Hospital Boston visits Washington D.C.

Children’s Hospital Boston employees and families got home from Washington D.C. last night, having just finished participating in Family Advocacy Day. Family Advocacy Day is an annual, national event sponsored by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals that enables children’s hospital patients and their families to make their voices heard to leaders on Capitol Hill.  This year Children’s Family Advocacy Day team consisted of Children’s president and COO Sandra Fenwick, Dennis Rosen, MD, Joshua Greenberg, vice president of Government Relations, Amy DeLong, Manger of Government Relations and Children’s families from Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. While in D.C. they meet with senators, state representatives and even a few “military officials” left over from the Reagan administration.

Stars Wars characters were on hand for FAD 2011 because child actor Max Page (who played a young Darth Vader in a recent Super Bowl commercial and also is a patient at Children's Hospital Los Angeles) delivered a speech.

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Speak up for pediatric specialty care and training–we need your help!

Claire McCarthy, MD

Living in Boston, we take it for granted that if something happens to one of our children, we can find just the right doctor to take care of them. We can find someone with expertise, someone who will know the latest treatments, who will know exactly what to do.

Here in Boston, we have lots of pediatric specialists. These are doctors who have trained in pediatrics, so fully understand all the ways that children are different from adults, and have additional training in a particular area of medicine, like heart defects or hormone problems or cancer. Here in Boston, children can get the health care they need.

That’s not the case in other parts of the country. According to an article in this month’s Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine by Dr. Dennis Rosen of Children’s Hospital Boston, there is a national shortage of pediatric subspecialists. In Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, for example, there are no pediatric pulmonologists. These doctors treat lung problems, like cystic fibrosis or asthma; they can make a tremendous difference in improving the lives of children with these diseases.

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The debate over adolescent bariatric operations

Operations to treat obesity are proven to help in many cases but remain controversial

“What happened to young people being active? Don’t parents make young kids and teens go out and play anymore?”

“Why the heck aren’t these kids tossed in a gym and given reasonable, healthy food to lose weight? Americans are too desperate for a quick fix that they don’t have to put any effort into!”

These are just a few comments people made in reaction to a news story about teenage bariatric surgery. Though the commenters’ concerns aren’t entirely off base, the “Pick yourselves up by the bootstraps” mentality represents a lot of misconceptions about childhood obesity and its treatments. No one’s denying the importance of exercise and parental influence in the battle against childhood obesity, but citing it as the epidemic’s only contributing factors is a gross oversimplification.

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