Children’s Hospital and Medical Center | Inside business

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Children’s President and CEO Chanda Chacón advocates for pediatric mental health care alongside U.S. Surgeon General, HHS Children’s Hospital and Medical Center President and CEO Chanda Chacón , MPH, FACHE, was in Washington, DC, last week to advocate for pediatric mental health care. Representing Children’s, the region’s pediatric health care leader, Chacón has met with congressional policy makers and peer health care leaders from across the country as a member of the Children’s Hospital Association. Chacón participated in a roundtable discussion on pediatric mental health care with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. Along with other healthcare leaders and behavioral health experts, Chacón shared his insights and had the opportunity to encourage members of Congress to take action on mental health needs. She advocated for HR 7236, the Strengthen Kids’ Mental Health Now Act, which is bipartisan legislation that would increase reimbursement for pediatric behavioral health services and create grant programs to support integration, coordination, infrastructure and training the pediatric behavioral health care workforce. Chacón has been a vocal leader in advocating for the needs of children in response to the national pediatric mental health crisis that has emerged in recent years. She led an effort this year that resulted in Children’s securing $10 million in federal funding allocated to the State of Nebraska through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Children’s will use the funds to develop, pilot and open innovative pediatric mental health urgent care centers to meet the growing needs of Nebraska children and families.

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