Children’s Hospital Association Endorses National Governors Association Chairman’s Initiative

Children’s Hospital Association Endorses National Governors Association Chairman’s Initiative

NGA’s incoming chair launches a youth mental health initiative.

For more information, contact Elleni Almandrez
(202) 753-5364

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the nation’s governors, federal officials, and business and education leaders convened in Portland, Maine, for the National Governors Association (NGA) Annual Summer Meeting, where incoming NGA Chairman and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will introduce his NGA Chairman’s Initiative focused on youth mental health. 

Children face a mental health crisis of unprecedented scale. Trends of increasing mental health inpatient admissions at children’s hospitals were exacerbated by the tremendous stress fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in demand for mental and behavioral health services comes at a time when the health care workforce is stretched thin and greatly overburdened. Children’s hospitals continue to seek additional resources in order to provide the best care to patients.

“We applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership in addressing the mental health crisis in children and youth,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of Children’s Hospital Association (CHA). “The initiative will continue to raise awareness of the challenges in the pediatric delivery system and identify effective solutions for children, families, and communities across the country.”

Governor Murphy will introduce his initiative at the closing plenary of the Summer Meeting during a panel discussion. The panel will be moderated by Heidi Baskfield, vice president of population health for Children’s Hospital Colorado, and interim executive director at Partners for Children’s Mental Health.

“A holistic and healing youth mental health system of care can neither exist nor function well without strong engagement and support from governors in every state,” said Baskfield. “Today’s announcement of support in addressing the current youth mental health crisis by New Jersey Governor Murphy brings hope and a meaningful call to action. The ability to discuss youth mental health with 19 governors from across our nation is powerful proof that children’s hospitals and their partners can take the necessary steps to end this crisis and create a more hopeful future for our young people.”

Panelists will include:

  • New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy
  • Amy Kennedy, co-founder, The Kennedy Forum
  • Mary-Ann Etiebet, M.D., AVP, Health Equity, and lead, Merck for Mothers

Tammy Murphy has been a leading voice for maternal and infant health throughout her time as First Lady of New Jersey. Children’s Hospital Colorado and The Kennedy Forum are partners of CHA’s Sound the Alarm initiative which urges Congress to take action on the youth mental health crisis.

About Children's Hospital Association

Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 220 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.