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About Seattle Children's

Government Relations

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Government Relations 2 kids

Seattle Children’s works in and with the community to address the health and safety needs of children, teens and their families. We tackle the root cause of illness and injury, provide a voice for families who are not always heard and promote changes that will lead to healthier communities. Nearly half of Seattle Children’s patients are insured by Apple Health for Kids, Washington state’s child health coverage program. We work in tandem with our community and government partners to promote child health and wellness as well as access to quality health care throughout the Pacific Northwest region.

Our dedication to the health and safety of children and teens in the community began when we opened our doors in 1907. A year after our founding, Dr. George McCulloch discovered that unpasteurized milk had caused a number of infant deaths. Instead of pasteurizing milk, farmers were preserving raw milk with formaldehyde. At Dr. McCulloch’s insistence, Seattle established a “milk commission” to regulate pasteurization of milk and to protect the public from unsafe milk.

Ever since the milk safety victory over a century ago, we have led and participated in a wide variety of campaigns, partnerships and programs to protect child and teen health and safety. We advocate for child and teen health and safety based on research; evidence-based practices; and the strengths, challenges, and barriers identified by our families and their communities. Our board of trustees, Community Benefit Advisory Committee and Community Health Assessment guide our advocacy efforts. We also collaborate with the more than 40 fellow members of the Health Coalition for Children and Youth to maintain and strengthen the Apple Health for Kids program and children’s health overall across the State. Our efforts include partnering with the community and all levels of government to ensure implementation of federal health reform works for kids.

Health Insurance Changes May Affect Families’ Coverage at Children’s

Since all Americans are now required to have health insurance, the Health Insurance Marketplace was designed to meet that requirement. Some Exchange plans include “in-network” coverage for care at Children’s. Other plans do not, and they may not pay for patients’ care here.

Find out how you can help get more families covered.

Contact Us

To learn more about how you or your organization can partner with Seattle Children’s to improve the health and safety of children and families in the region, please contact:

  • Suzanne Petersen Tanneberg, chief of staff to the CEO; vice president, External Affairs and Guest Services, 206-987-2125
  • Hugh Ewart, director, State and Federal Government Relations, 206-987-4223
  • Edna Shim, director, Regional Government Affairs and Community Relations, 206-987-5269

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Read the Teenology 101 Blog

The Teenology 101 blog is a guide for parents and caregivers raising teenagers, written by experts from our department of adolescent medicine.