JHF Hosts Donna Cooper, Health Systems and Community Stakeholders for Children’s Advocacy Session

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) was pleased to host Donna Cooper, former secretary of policy for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the Ed Rendell administration, for a meeting with health system representatives and community stakeholders on opportunities to advocate for children's health. Cooper now runs Children First, a child advocacy organization based in southeastern PA. Cooper works closely with local Pittsburgh partners – including Allies for Children and Trying Together – in impressive statewide campaigns focused on early learning, education, and health care for children. Recently, Cooper, along with Health Careers Futures Board Member Bill Isler, formed the Children Matter Action Fund to increase the political muscle of the most promising statewide child advocacy and policy coalitions.

During the meeting, Cooper and Isler presented background on Pennsylvania-based advocacy around the CHIP program, as well as the Fund's strategies for 2022, which focus on advocacy for child behavioral health resources and early intervention services. JHF engaged a group of health system representatives and community stakeholders in a conversation about opportunities to improve health resources, infrastructure, and capacity across Pennsylvania. There is a need for a shared vision and collective action to improve behavioral health service access in Pennsylvania, and JHF hopes to continue collaborations and discussion around these issues that relate to the Foundation's maternal health and adolescent behavioral health initiatives.

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