Mental Health Policy Briefing: Raising the Priority of California Children with Special Health Care Needs
Mental health services and supports for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) must be a priority for California. This briefing provided an overview of the mental health services to which CSHCN are entitled, highlighted current state policy priorities, and shared ways to engage in advocacy efforts. Following the briefing, speakers answered questions from the audience.
Kimberly Lewis, JD
Kimberly Lewis works on state and national health care issues, including Medicaid and health reform implementation. She has worked to improve access to quality health care for low-income and underserved individuals in California for more than two decades, including 10 years as an advocate in the mental health system. Kim has served as co-counsel on a number of cases concerning Medicaid recipients’ access to coverage and health services, including Katie A. v. Bonta. This class action lawsuit resulted in a landmark settlement in which the state agreed to provide intensive home-based mental health services for tens of thousands of Medicaid eligible children in California.
Abigail Coursolle, JD
Abigail (Abbi) Coursolle provides technical assistance, advocate training, and litigation support, with a special focus on access to care, Medicaid managed care, prescription drug access, behavioral health access, LGBTQ health equity, and children’s health issues. Before joining the National Health Law Program, Abbi was the Greenberg Traurig Equal Justice Works staff attorney at the Western Center on Law & Poverty. At Western Center, she led a 58-county project to enforce safety net laws for low income Californians and worked to implement policy changes within administrative agencies in order to fully implement health programs for low income individuals not eligible for Medicaid.
Holly Henry, PhD
Holly Henry works on improving care coordination and self-management support for children with special health care needs and their families. She earned her PhD at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.