The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality Forecasts Leading Pediatric Healthcare Trends in 2009

Healthcare Leaders to Convene at the 8th Annual Forum for Improving Children?s Healthcare to Discuss Innovative Ways to Improve Children?s Healthcare Quality

Cambridge, MA, January 14, 2009

– As the nation prepares for a new era and a new administration, The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) today announced its prediction of the key changes for children’s healthcare in the coming year. NICHQ's 8th Annual Forum for Improving Children's Healthcare, being held from March 9-12, at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas, near Dallas/Fort Worth, will address these trends as part of the conference agenda.

"With the highest infant mortality in the developed world, unacceptable medical errors, more than 10 million children uninsured or underinsured and an obesity epidemic that threatens the long term health of our nation, we need to change the trajectory for health and healthcare for America's children," stated NICHQ CEO, Charles Homer MD, MPH. "Fortunately, with a new administration much more focused on addressing the health and healthcare needs of children and families, we can expect improvements in many of these areas starting in 2009," Homer predicted. "We are very optimistic we will see real progress in the coming year."

According to NICHQ, the top trends in children's healthcare that the US can expect to see in 2009 include:
• Expansion of health insurance coverage through State Children's Health Insurance Program to assure coverage of nearly all children;
• Renewed emphasis on public health and prevention, especially related to obesity, emergency preparedness and early childhood education;
• Investments in healthcare information technology, with some component earmarked to address children’s healthcare needs;
• Reinvestment in primary care;
• Performance measures and accountability for Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program; and
• Renewed national focus on maternal care, maternal mortality and prematurity, all of which will influence children's health.

NICHQ also predicts that there will be significant progress towards overall health system reform, but that agreement on the approach and its translation to politically challenging topics such as payment and finance reform overall may extend beyond 2009.

"The trends identified by NICHQ are exactly in line with what we're experiencing in the industry,” said Sister Teresa George, D.C., Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas and a member of NICHQ's Forum Planning and Steering Committees. "We're looking forward to learning how we can stay ahead of these trends to make the most of the upcoming changes in pediatric healthcare. The 8th Annual Forum for Improving Children's Healthcare is a great venue to connect with other healthcare leaders and learn how to prepare for what 2009 will bring."

The 8th Annual Forum for Improving Children’s Healthcare will bring together nearly 1,000 healthcare professionals of all disciplines to improve children’s healthcare quality. Sessions will be facilitated by experts from pediatric hospitals and clinics nationwide and will cover:
• Patient Safety
• Childhood Obesity
• Chronic Conditions
• Quality Improvement-linked to finance, advocacy and equity in care.

The Forum will also offer keynote presentations from Lucian Leape MD, a pediatric surgeon and Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Harvard School of Public Health; Blair L. Sadler, Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; J. Hoxi Jones, Strategic Partnership Specialist, State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission; and Edward O’Neil PhD, MPA, FAAN, Professor in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. In addition, conference sessions will highlight cross cutting themes of family engagement, promoting equity and translation of evidence into practice.

The Forum is targeted to healthcare professionals including, Quality Improvement Professionals; Health Care Leaders; Physicians and Physician Assistants; Nurses and Nurse Practitioners; Medical Directors; Safety Net Providers; Managed Care Professionals; Public Health Professionals; Government Leaders; Pediatric Pharmacists; Grant Foundation Program Officers; AAP/AAFP Chapter Executives and Staff; Parents of Children with Special Health Care Needs; Child and Family Advocates; and Pediatric Publications.

For more information, contact or 617.301.4900. To register for the Forum, please visit

About National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ)
The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is an independent, action-oriented nonprofit organization solely dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare provided to children, youth and families.