Sometimes, all a family needs is a phone call on their behalf. Sometimes, an entire health care system needs to change. Amy Breedlove navigates the space between those two extremes as she coordinates care for children who are among the most medically complex in California’s Central Valley.
At Caring Corner, a pediatric day health center in Bakersfield, nursing director Meg Molloy oversees care for dozens of medically fragile children – “but we don’t treat them like they’re sick,” she says.
Whether it’s CCS, CHGME, DSH or ACA, Tim Curley follows them all. With years of experience in federal and state health policy, he keeps a close eye on the politics of paying for children’s health care, including trends in Medicaid and managed care policy that deeply affect children with special health care needs and their caregivers.
Kausha King’s work as the parent health liaison at the Care Parent Network in Contra Costa County is deeply personal. Nearly everything she teaches parents about advocating for their children with special health care needs, she has experienced herself. “It’s a world all our own, and we came into it blind and had to learn,” she says.
Karen Fessel is known throughout California for her passionate advocacy to get insurers to pay for the services families need for their children on the autism spectrum. Now, she’s branching out to serve children with other special health care needs.
Dr. Mark Edelstein oversees mental health treatment and social services for some of California’s most troubled kids. With his staff at EMQ FamiliesFirst, Edelstein works to keep children with significant mental health issues in their communities – an important task at a time when the rate of mental health-related hospitalizations of California children and youth is rising.