About Seattle Children’s

Government Relations

The Washington State Capitol at duskSeattle Children’s works in and with the community to address the health, well-being 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. All of this work is conducted through an equity lens.

About 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 well-being 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 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 efforts including coalitions 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. Much of our joint advocacy efforts reside within the Health Coalition for Children and Youth where we collaborate with the more than 50 fellow coalition members to ensure the needs of children and youth across the state are met through policy that promotes their health, well-being, and ability to thrive.

In recent years we have focused our state and federal advocacy efforts especially closely on improving access to quality mental and behavioral health by expanding coverage for services, investing in the workforce, and supporting efforts to collaborate across the care continuum including outside of the health care sector such as with schools. We also work on policies that improve the ability of children to receive necessary care across state lines, support for training and workforce development to address workforce shortages, and policies that expand research investments toward developing cures to childhood disease.

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 email Francesca Vega or call her at 206-987-3011.