Caring for Migrant Children
Virginia-AAP has members participating in the Specialty Care Access Network (SCAN), a part of the Migrant Clinicians Network. This is a national network of providers in key regions of the country that help facilitate transition of medical care for migrant children who may require subspecialty attention or hospitalization upon arrival. We have SCAN providers now in Northern VA and Richmond. Please contact us if you need assistance with transition of medical care needs.
HHR Work Group on Health Coverage for Undocumented Children
VA-AAP is committed to improving access to health care for all children. Approximately 13,000 children in Virginia lack access to health coverage due to their immigration status. Virginia is also receiving increasing numbers of migrant children from the southern U.S. border that have resettled in the Commonwealth after release from ORR custody. As pediatricians, our capacity to provide the best care for these children is challenged by their lack of access to health insurance in our state. Through collaboration with multiple stakeholders, VA-AAP introduced a budget amendment during the 2021 legislative cycle which created the Children’s Health Coverage Work Group under the department of Health and Human Resources, to address the lack of health coverage for undocumented children in Virginia. This work group convened between June and September of 2021, and a detailed report of the group’s research and findings has now been finalized for submission (November, 2021). The following key actions were recommended by the report:
(1) Establish a state-funded health coverage option for undocumented children residing in the
Commonwealth, with benefits, cost-sharing, and financial eligibility criteria comparable to
Virginia’s Medicaid and FAMIS programs for children.
(2) Implement a broad outreach strategy for Virginia’s Medicaid and FAMIS programs—as well
as the new coverage program - to reach both newly eligible undocumented children and
already eligible but unenrolled children.
(3) Fund measures to improve access to culturally responsive care, including training for
Medicaid/FAMIS providers and expanded translation/interpretation services within the
VA-AAP Update on Caring for Afghan Refugee Children
VA-AAP has been actively engaged in the current situation surrounding the arrival of Afghan refugee families and children. We held a collaborative meeting with multiple regional partners on September 1, 2021, which included colleagues from DC-AAP, regional FQHCs, legal aid partners, the Office of Refugee and Resettlement, Lutheran Social Services, Association of Medical Professionals of Afghan Americans (AMPAA), and other community partners. Initial efforts to provide school entry physicals and vaccinations for refugee children were conducted in Northern Virginia by Neighborhood Health, Healthworks and Children’s National Medical Center. Care coordination between the military bases and Virginia hospitals has been ongoing. Regional pediatric points of contact at hospital centers throughout the state were provided by VA-AAP to ORR.
For providers caring for these children in your practices, please find information regarding screening labs and testing in the Newly Arrived Immigrant Laboratory Checklist within the DMV Immigrant Child Health Toolkit.
Also, please refer to Bridge2ResourcesVA for a link to regional resources for families in need. More information on this is currently featured on the VA-AAP homepage.