New York State 2011 Priorities
1. Participate in the implementation of federal health care reform in New York State and advocate for improved access to quality health care coverage for women, infants and children.
Governor Cuomo created a website for the public to learn about the implementation of health care reform in New York. Get up to date information on the process.
2. Serve as an advocate for women, infants and children throughout the Medicaid reform process.
Governor Cuomo created the Medicaid Redesign Team to find ways to reduce costs, increase quality and efficiency. The Governor created a public web portal for the Medicaid Redesign Team. To learn more about the members, hearing schedule, and testimony go to: Click here
3. Pass legislation (A. 405/Gunther) requiring insurance policies in New York to cover iron supplements and prenatal vitamins.
The Advocacy Network is made up of volunteers and staff who promote the March of Dimes mission agenda by contacting the governor and state legislators in response to Chapter action alerts. This year's issues and priorities include those described above.
March of Dimes-New York 2011 Advocacy Day, Tuesday, May 10
The Public Affairs Committee is looking forward to hosting an Advocacy Day event in Albany, on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 to bring together March of Dimes volunteers with their legislators. We hope you will plan to attend the one day event to positively impact maternal/child health policies and raise awareness of March of Dimes issues. Please email Aisha Tator, State Director of Public Affairs or call 518-453-0474 for more information.
Governor Andrew Cuomo Delivers "State of the State" Address
Governor Cuomo delivered his "State of the State" address on Wednesday, Janaury 5, 2011. The message focused on having a responsible budget and enacting comprehensive ethics reforms. He proposes to "fundamentally transform New York State's government and economy by getting the state's fiscal house in order, radically redesigning our governmental structures and operations, and restoring integrity and performance to state government." Review a transcript of the Governor's address.
For more information on how to be involved with the New York State Advocacy Network, contact:
State Director of Public Affairs
March of Dimes New York Chapter
Recent Advocacy Wins in New York State
Newborn Hearing Screening Legislation
In 2010, the New York Chapter of the March of Dimes supported legislation that created a mechanism which would lead to increased newborn infant hearing screening rates, and improve the completeness and accuracy of newborn infant hearing screening data. The new law will require hospitals and other health care providers that administer or perform newborn infant hearing screenings to report the results of the tests to the Department of Health (DOH) and will enable certain individuals to access those results by way of an electronic database, in order to ensure that healthcare providers have access to accurate patient information.
Although New York has a policy of requiring newborns to receive hearing examinations, the State had not developed a tracking system that ensures children with hearing loss achieve communication and social skills commensurate with their abilities. The new law will bring New York into compliance with the CDC’s program that provides for such a tracking system, thereby making it easier to guarantee that newborns are properly tested at birth and, if necessary, receive follow-up evaluations and services. Finally, this legislation would authorize the Department of Health (DOH) to use this tracking system to identify whether certain children are in need of additional hearing screenings or certain early intervention services. All of these improvements will lead to better care of New York’s most vulnerable population -- newborn babies and especially the 750 babies born each year in New York with hearing loss and the 100 premature babies born with hearing loss.
National Newborn Screening Guidelines Adopted and SCID Added as Required Screening
As a result of federal legislation initiated by the March of Dimes in 2008, on May 21, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, announced national newborn screening guidelines. In addition, the Secretary adopted an expert advisory committee’s proposal to expand the “core” list of conditions from 29 to 30 adding a condition called SCID to the list of recommended required screens. As of March 2010, only Wisconsin mandates screening for SCID.
The Secretary’s guidance is intended to assist states in aligning their newborn screening programs with the most up-to-date research, technology, laboratory and public health standards and practices. In addition, national guidelines will help promote consistency among states with the goal that all babies are screened for the same life-threatening, but treatable disorders, regardless of where they live. New York, a leader in the field of Newborn screening, had already initiated the process of including SCID testing into the program. The state began preliminary testing in December, 2010. March of Dimes New York Chapter applauds the Department of Health for moving forward so quickly with the execution of incorporating SCID testing into the newborn screening program.