Health is important no matter what the age, but is especially pertinent for children whose bodies and minds are still developing. The quality of a child’s health can affect their body and mental well-being now and for years to come. Youth who suffer from obesity not only have physical issues, but may develop psychological ones as well. Additionally, young people who suffer from hunger are more likely to require hospitalization and have behavioral problems. Eye and dental health have a major impact on a child’s well-being, but can go easily undetected without regular check-ups. These kinds of issues can also have a direct impact on learning and student achievement.
- The immediate and long-term consequences of obesity include physical, psychological, and economic issues. Read more.
- Combined 2005 to 2007 data show that over 5% of low-income children were obese in all Indiana counties, with three counties (Fulton, Hancock, and Jefferson) having more than 20% of low-income children who were considered obese. Read more.
- Children with uncorrected vision conditions or eye health problems face many barriers in life…academically…socially…and athletically. High-quality eye care can break down these barriers and help enable your children to reach their highest potential. Read more.
- Vision and learning are intimately related. In fact, experts say that roughly 80 percent of what a child learns in school is information that is presented visually. Read more.
- Every day, millions of children and adults in the United States suffer the burden of oral diseases that significantly affect their quality of life.
- They [oral diseases] disproportionally affect vulnerable population groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities, children (especially those with special needs), low-income citizens, and rural or geographically isolated populations. Read more.
- About 17% of 3rd graders in the 2013 IN Survey had untreated decay in their deciduous and permanent teeth, while the national average was 23%. Read more.
- Dental health also affects student performance. Students with toothaches were almost four times as likely to have a lower grade point average than students with healthy teeth. Read more.
- Studies have found that food insecurity has been associated with health problems for children that may hinder their ability to function normally and participate fully in school and other activities. Read more.
View MCCOY’s “Our Kids, Our Families, Our Communities” television show about children’s health resources here.
View MCCOY’s “Our Kids, Our Families, Our Communities” television show about substance abuse here.
Youth Champion: John Ellis MD, FAAP
John is the Medical Director at Managed Health Services (MHS). He provides leadership and decision-making which require a physician with an unlimited license to practice in Indiana. Duties include review for medical necessity of requested services; oversight of quality of care and quality of service provided to our members; participation in projects to promote appropriate use of health care services including prevention services; review of credentials of all participating providers; addressing provider concerns about policy or services; participating in public health initiatives in collaboration with state and local health departments, as well as various organizations and agencies.
MHS is a managed care entity (MCE) that has been proudly serving Hoosiers for two decades through the Hoosier Healthwise (HHW), Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and Hoosier Care Connect Medicaid programs. MHS also serves Indiana residents with a qualified health plan issuer in the Indiana health insurance marketplace, Ambetter from MHS. Ambetter from MHS offers a variety of comprehensive plan options that provide access to medical care and meet an individual’s specific budget and coverage needs.
- Why did you want to go into this line of work?
As a physician, I was taught to evaluate and treat one individual at a time. After pediatric residency at Methodist here in Indianapolis, I spent 2 years in a Fellowship in Rochester, New York studying the teaching of pediatrics and training in community health. The discipline of population health expanded my perspectives and held my attention for 18 years while I taught and practiced pediatrics. The transition fully into the managed care world of health plans in 1999 was an exciting opportunity for my growth and for contributing the health at a population level. I continue to learn every day.
- What is most rewarding about your job?
I appreciate the opportunity to help develop and implement policies and activities that can be measured to improve the health of our community and to continue to teach health professionals and learn from them. My position also allows me to become involved in initiatives such as Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative (IPQIC), the Attorney General’s Task Force on Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse, the Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA) and the Indianapolis Medical Society (IMS), and Improving Kid’s Environment (IKE) http://ikecoalition.org/.
- What is the most challenging part of your job?
Making decisions about the deployment of services in very complex situations remains a professional challenge. Often the identification or development of appropriate alternatives provides a very satisfying outcome for all concerned.
- How has MCCOY helped your organization succeed or grow?
I believe MCCOY provides a strong force in the community for improving the lives of children and an under-recognized opportunity for collaboration with MHS, IMS, IPQIC and others.
- Where do you see yourself and your organization in five years?
I anticipate I will still be active as a Medical Director at MHS and will continue to collaborate with community organizations, the Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health.