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Health

Ensuring that Rhode Island’s children and youth have excellent physical, oral, and mental health is critical for success at all stages of development. Health impacts child well-being in all aspects, including success in school, meeting developmental milestones, and reaching their fullest potential.

Health Issues IllustrationA child’s health is strongly affected by the family and community environment in which he or she lives, learns and plays; as well as by access to high-quality health care, high-quality early learning and educational opportunities, and nurturing relationships with parents and other adults. Health insurance and health care are critical to a child's health, to prevent or treat health problems, and to and educate families about health issues.

It is also important for pregnant women and individuals to have regular medical care for the health of both the mother and baby. Early prenatal care can identify and treat health problems, impact healthy behaviors, and result in healthy fetal development and continued health through infancy.

Our Publications

Factbook Indicators

Publications

  • School-Based Mental Health Services in Newport: Perspectives from Newport Youth, Parents, and the Community, November 2023
    Servicios de salud mental en la escuela: Perspectivas de los jóvenes, los padres y la comunidad de Newport

    This report was written in collaboration with the Newport community, through thoughtful focus groups and one-on-one conversations. We contacted trusted community-based organizations with strong ties to the community to help recruit parents and youth for participation. The purpose of these conversations was to gather input from students and parents about the resources needed to support and enhance their families’ and communities' mental health and well-being.

    It is critical to note that school districts across Rhode Island and across the country are working to address the youth mental health crisis and experiencing many of the same challenges as Newport. Being willing to reflect, amplify, and learn from youth and parent experiences is a true act of leadership. Thank you, Newport Public Schools, for this leadership.

  • Policy Brief: Root Causes of Overweight and Obesity: Community-Driven Solutions to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Rhode Island, June 2023
    The conditions and environments where children are born, live, learn, work, and play greatly impact their health outcomes. We must understand the root causes of disparities in children’s health outcomes and well-being and listen to the voices of the communities most impacted to create solutions that support the health of all children and youth. Over the past six months, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT partnered with trusted community organizations to gather input on the root causes of childhood overweight and obesity in Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence. The community was clear on steps we must take, and the recommendations reflect the vision we see for a healthier future.  
  • Issue Brief: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Maternal, Infant, and Young Children’s Health in Rhode Island, January 2023
    Pregnancy is the beginning of development for a child. Maternal health before, during, and after pregnancy impacts the overall health and well-being of a child in both the short and long-term. Currently, there is a maternal health crisis both nationally and in Rhode Island. Beyond that, there are unacceptable and persistent disparities in maternal, infant, and child health outcomes by race and ethnicity that disproportionally impact Black, Indigenous, People of Color women and children. Addressing these disparities will require a focus on the important connection between birthing parents and their babies and focus on the health and well-being of both individuals. Our publication clearly outlines where disparities exist, the root causes of these disparities, and the steps we need to take to address this legacy of inequity.
  • Policy Brief: Children's Mental Health in Rhode Island, October 2022
    Mental health in childhood and adolescence is defined as reaching expected developmental, cognitive, social, and emotional milestones and the ability to use effective coping skills. Mental health influences children’s physical health as well as their behavior at home, in school, and in the community. Mental health conditions can impair daily functioning, prevent or affect academic achievement, increase involvement with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, result in high treatment costs, diminish family incomes, and increase the risk for suicide. This publication discusses the data and research about children's mental health, and offers recommendations for improving the behavioral care system and supporting families.
  • Policy Brief: Childhood Overweight and Obesity: Updated Data for Rhode Island 
    May 2020: From 2016-2019 Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Center for Health Data and Analysis, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, the State Innovation Model, and three health insurance plans collaborated on a project to collect accurate childhood overweight and obesity data at the state and city/town level that could also be analyzed by race/ethnicity, age, gender, and health insurance status. The result of this unique collaboration was the first clinical/claims-based statewide data set of childhood overweight and obesity in Rhode Island. This Policy Brief presents updated data from 2018 collected and analyzed from 2018 to 2020.
  • Health Fact Sheet: Trends in Youth Tobacco Use: E-Cigarettes and Vaping (2020)
  • Health Fact Sheet: Trends in Youth Tobacco Use: Factors Influencing Youth Use (2020)
  • Health Fact Sheet: Trends in Youth Tobacco Use: State and School Tobacco Policies (2020)
  • Policy Briefs: Childhood Overweight and Obesity: Updated Data for Rhode Island and Trends in Rhode Island. These Policy Briefs present updated data from 2020 collected and analyzed from 2020 to 2022 and provide the first data showing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood overweight and obesity.
  • Access to School Breakfast: A Key Strategy for Improving Children’s Health, Education, and Well-Being, May 2019 - Hunger and lack of regular access to food are linked to serious physical, psychological, emotional, and academic problems in children and can interfere with their growth and development. School Breakfast is an effective way to fill these nutritional gaps. Implementing key strategies such as the Community Eligibility Program, Universal School Breakfast, and “Breakfast After the Bell” can increase participation.
  • Policy Brief: Childhood Overweight and Obesity: New Data for Rhode Island - March 2019. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Center for Health Data and Analysis, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, the State Innovation Model, and three health insurance plans – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, UnitedHealthcare, and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island collaborated on a project to collect the most accurate childhood overweight and obesity data at the state and city/town level that could also be analyzed by race/ethnicity, age, gender, and insurance status. This is the first clinical/claims-based statewide data set of childhood overweight and obesity in Rhode Island. 

Special Initiatives

 

Related Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Resources

Additional Resources

Rhode Island

 

  • The Rhode Island Oral Health Commission
    The Rhode Island Oral Health Commission has been the foundation of many efforts to improve oral health in Rhode Island over the past decade. Members of the Commission include private practitioners, safety net providers, community organizations, state agencies, insurers, and other oral health advocates. The Rhode Island Oral Health Commission meets quarterly. Meetings are open and all are welcome to attend.
  • The RI DataHUB (Prov Plan) is a central resource for anyone interested in using data to understand the well-being of people in Rhode Island.

National

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation National Data Center – Health Indicators
    Rhode Island KIDS COUNT contributes data to the national KIDS COUNT Data Center, which is managed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.The national KIDS COUNT Data Center connects you to over four million data points about the well-being of children and families in each state and across the country. You can easily access hundreds of indicators related to health, education, employment and income, child welfare, and many other topics. The Data Center is free and available to all.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal agency providing information to enhance health decisions. An A to Z health index featured on the CDC website provides information on numerous health and safety related topics.
  • Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that provides valuable information and insights on the well-being of children and youth.
  • Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization working to build the consumer and community leadership that is required to transform the American health system.
  • Georgetown University Center for Children and Families is an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center whose mission is to expand and improve health coverage for America’s children and families.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, safety, education, economic security, and development of Rhode Island’s children.

Address

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903

Contact

401-351-9400
401-351-1758
Email Us

401-351-9400
Email Us

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