National League of Cities Selects 22 Cities for Children’s Health Care Initiative

Washington- The National League of Cities (NLC) selected 22 cities across the country to participate in its new three-year initiative to help municipal leaders increase access to health insurance coverage for children and families.

City leaders and community partners will attend one of two summer leadership academies focused on developing citywide outreach campaigns that connect children and families with affordable health insurance. The local outreach campaigns will involve efforts to identify and enroll children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as retain families that may have been dropped from the programs. NLC's initiative seeks to help cities overcome some of the most significant barriers to enrolling uninsured children, including lack of awareness and complicated application and renewal processes.

NLC is hosting the academies as part of the Cities Expanding Access to Health Care for Children and Families project, which has been funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.

The 22 cities selected to participate are:

• Aurora, Colorado
• Baltimore, Maryland
• Chula Vista, California
• Columbia, Pennsylvania
• Dallas, Texas
• Gainesville, Florida
• Garden City, Michigan
• Groesbeck, Texas
• Hattiesburg, Mississippi
• Houston, Texas
• Jackson, Michigan
• Jacksonville, Florida
• Las Vegas, Nevada
• Miami Beach, Florida
• New Bedford, Massachusetts
• Newark, New Jersey
• Omaha, Nebraska
• Portland, Maine
• Providence, Rhode Island
• Savannah, Georgia
• Tucson, Arizona
• Wilson, North Carolina

"We are excited to launch the first phase of this important initiative to assist cities in reaching uninsured families and children and connecting them with affordable insurance," said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, AZ. "Improving children's health is essential to creating healthy, prosperous communities, and I am confident that these trainings will allow city leaders to significantly reduce health disparities in their hometowns. Children and families cannot succeed without a healthy start every day."

Selection criteria for the project included evidence of high-level municipal leadership and commitment to increasing the number of children enrolled in health insurance programs, collaboration among city and community agencies, and a clear indication of how the leadership academy can bolster local efforts and help applicants overcome identified challenges. Through the initiative, cities will also have the opportunity to apply for pass-through funding and additional technical assistance for their efforts to boost children's enrollment in these critical programs.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.