As chair of the Florida Healthy Kids Board of Directors, I appreciate how the Children’s Week celebration brings together Florida’s parents, teachers, advocates and government leaders for the shared purpose of discussing key children’s issues.
There are few actions that are more important than protecting and nurturing the young Floridians who depend upon us and who will ultimately grow up to be the next generation of state leaders, business owners, teachers, innovators and parents of their own children. Through the four programs that make up Florida KidCare, we bring affordable, child-centered health insurance within reach for millions of Florida’s children.
Access to healthcare is much more than sick children receiving the services they need, it also means earlier detection of developmental disabilities and delays. Annual visits and screenings help children avoid communicable diseases and reduce the likelihood of preventable health problems. Children with health insurance have more opportunities to be active and participate in sports.
While Florida KidCare is recognized nationally as an innovative and exemplary program, there is still much we can accomplish. More than 300,000 Florida children lack comprehensive health insurance even though they qualify for low-cost or no-cost coverage. This is a problem that we can solve together.
In July 2016, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the enrollment of the first child in Florida Healthy Kids. We all have a role to play in keeping Florida’s children healthy — our legislators support the Florida KidCare health insurance program, and parents make sacrifices to include healthcare in their family budgets and make sure their children regularly see their physicians.
Let’s all do our part to make Florida the healthiest state in the country.
Wendy Link, chairwoman, Board of Directors, Florida Healthy Kids, Tallahassee