|ACH Leaders Share Perspective on Key Issues With Florida Legislators|
ACH President and Physician in Chief Jonathan Ellen, M.D. and other pediatric experts from All Children's Hospital provided testimony to legislators in Tallahassee last week on several timely child health topics.
The topic of medically fragile children was discussed by the Senate Committee on Children, Family and Elder Affairs on January 8 and included presentations by Florida Department of Health Surgeon General John Armstrong and Agency for Healthcare Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek (who visited ACH last month with Governor Scott). ACH neonatologist and Chief of Pediatric Medicine Dr. Tony Napolitano, Administrative Director for Developmental and Rehabilitation Services Dr. Dennis Hart and NICU Director Cindy Driscoll advocated for policy and funding changes in the care of medically fragile children.
Dr. Napolitano shared specifics about the infants treated in the NICU at All Children's and the hospital's goals to have patients treated in the most appropriate setting for the full-spectrum of care, working together with our affiliate hospitals and community providers. Dr. Hart addressed the opportunities for developmental care and Cindy Driscoll presented specifics about how the family can transition to home. The committee chair charged ACH with conducting additional research for best practices and to provide options to the legislators.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) scope of practice was the focus of the January 10 meeting of the House Healthcare Workforce and Innovation Committee. Legislative staff gave an overview of current Florida policy as well as the varying policies in states across the country. Catherine Dower, J.D., an invited speaker from the Center for Health Professions at the University of California San Francisco, presented an objective summary of the academic literature related to ARNP practice, safety and efficacy, and a panel of nurses, physicians and hospital executives shared their perspective on current Florida ARNP policy. Dr. Ellen was invited by the committee chair to serve on this panel to discuss expanding the scope of services for mid-level providers. He provided compelling testimony on the importance of mid-level providers in caring for children in both acute and community settings.