The AAP Committee on Federal Government Affairs (COFGA) focused much of its summer meeting on children’s mental health, childhood poverty, gun violence prevention and reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

These four issues vary as wildly in scope as they do in trajectory: Some have pending legislation, while others will require cross-cutting collaborations. Some could see meaningful change over the next few months, while others may take much longer to advance. The challenge before COFGA was to determine how the Academy could most effectively promote children’s mental health needs, reduce childhood poverty, keep children safe from gun violence and reauthorize CHIP in a complex health care landscape.

The meeting agenda is indicative of COFGA’s unique role; COFGA considers the full spectrum of child health and the many factors that influence it — from environmental chemical exposures to access to health insurance coverage. The committee guides the AAP Department...

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