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Regional Children’s Health Consortium Holds Summit for Children

EL PASO, Texas – The El Paso Consortium for Children will hold its first Summit for Children Friday, April 22. Sponsored by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Hospitals of Providence, and the County of El Paso, this conference will explore the issues facing children’s health care, mental health, and education.

Gilbert Handal, M.D., chair of child advocacy at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso(TTUHSC El Paso) began this consortium last year by bringing together over 45 agencies to better children’s health advocacy across the U.S.-Mexico border region.

This summit is the culmination of this effort and will help the consortium explore issues and possible solutions surrounding children’s health and well-being.

 The event will feature two prominent keynote speakers. Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Deputy Director for Policy and Program in the Medicare/CHIP Division Emily Zalkovsky will speak about children’s mental health, enrollment and expansion of available programs, and what HHSC can to do to improve children’s health.

 Also, Texas State Representative Cesar Blanco will discuss the political aspect of children’s health advocacy. Blanco, who serves on the Public Health Committee, will highlight the legislative process and ways to advance the consortium’s political agenda.

 The summit will be broken down into three stages, early childhood, school age children, and adolescents. Presentations will begin with mental health, health and education for children, and lastly, solutions to current issues.

The main goal of this summit is to explore issues and to create a longitudinal goal for the consortium going forward. Eventually, the hope is to create a functional organization that can continuously monitor and advocate for children’s health issues across the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as to create a plan of action for legislatures and local communities to tackle problems facing children’s health care.

What: 1st Summit for Children

When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 22

Where: El Paso Community College Auditorium, 9050 Viscount

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