Madden Family Joins MWPH to Advocate for Children’s Health

For immediate release: June 17, 2015

11th annual “Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day” held in D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC (June 17) – More than forty families and hospitals across the United States were in the nation’s capital this week advocating for children’s health.  Six-year old Sean Madden and his parents joined Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH) to put a positive face on the mission of children’s hospitals at “Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Days,” sponsored by the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA).

Sean, who finished pre-kindergarten at Celebree Learning Center in Bel Air, MD, suffers from multiple medical conditions including Dandy-Walker Malformation, Hydrocephalus, partial agenesis of the corpus callosum, GERD, mild peripheral pulmonary stenosis, seizures and migraines.  His case is defined as “medically complex” by CHA because he has a condition that affects two or more organ systems.  There are about three million children in the U.S.  who are defined accordingly.  Sean sees ten doctors and specialists from seven hospitals in two States.  At MWPH where Sean is known as “the Mayor,” he has received physical, speech, occupational, psychological and feeding therapies.

A leader in treating children with feeding disorders, the Comprehensive Program for Feeding Disorders at MWPH focuses on a coordinated care model as well developing tailored treatment plans.  Sean entered the six-week Feeding Day Program at MWPH in 2012 when he was three years old and measured in the third percentile for weight. He met all eight program goals including an increase in volume and variety of food intake.

“When I saw Sean eating bacon for the first time, I just cried.  It was an emotional day, a real breakthrough,” remembers Sean’s mother Jaclyn Madden.  “There was so much support for Sean and for us at MWPH.  We brought home a different kid.” Today Sean measures in the 50th percentile and is considered in the normal range for his age and height.

“We were in Washington to reinforce the need for continued support by the federal government for medically complex kids, particularly those who receive some sort of financial assistance,” said Dr. Richard Katz, Chief Medical Officer at MWPH.  “We’re putting real people and real stories in front of Congress.”

The Madden family joined MWPH hospital leadership at meetings with Representative Chris Van Hollen and staff members from Senator Ben Cardin’s and Representatives Andy Harris’s and John Sarbanes’s offices. Photos from the day can be found here.

Two million of the thirty-three million children on Medicaid are considered “medically complex,” with expensive, highly specialized needs.  Although these medically complex children comprise only six percent of all children enrolled in Medicaid, they represent more than forty percent of all Medicaid spending on children.  Medicaid is the largest payer for these children because the medical services they require often far exceed the traditional benefits and coverage levels commercial plans provide.  Children’s hospitals are the focal point of care for many of these patients, as pediatric specialists are often needed to provide expertise in treating their rare and complex medical conditions.

“Children with medical complexity have the highest needs and can be helped the most,” said Sheldon Stein, president and CEO at MWPH.  “They are also the population that children’s hospitals like ours know most about.”

“Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Days” was held in Washington, D.C. June 15-16, 2015.

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About Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital: Where Children go to Heal and Grow Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MWPH) specializes in family-centered treatment of children with serious, chronic and/or complex medical needs.  Treating more than 8,000 patients each year on an inpatient and outpatient basis, the 102-bed post-acute hospital has locations in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County.  Founded in 1922 as a respite from the City where children could recover from illness and injury, MWPH continues to serve the health and well-being of all children.  MWPH is a jointly owned affiliate of The University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine.  For more information, please visit www.mwph.org.

About the Children’s Hospital Association
The Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 200 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.  For more information on Family Advocacy Day, visit www.childrenshospitals.org or follow the families on Facebook, www.facebook.com/speaknowforkids, and Twitter, @speaknowforkids.