Saturday, May 6, 2017



 “’It’s getting it right the first time,’ Kearns said.  ’Every child deserves that, no matter where their ZIP code is.”   Dan Holtmeyer, “$500,000 Donation to Boost Childhood Cancer Treatment.”  NADG (April 15, 2017).  Spoken by Dr. Greg Kearns, chief research officer of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital system regarding the gift to the Arkansas Children’s Northwest hospital.   Wonderful sentiments, and surely applicable to the equal protection from neglect and abuse of all infants, toddlers, and pre-adolescents.  Every child deserves that.   Just because the challenge is much larger than children afflicted with cancer should be no excuse for failure to prevent harm.  Protection of all children is a function of affirmative government embraced by people of all ideologies.

United Nations Declaration of Rights for Children
Dick:  US Accidental and Deliberate Harms against Infants 2017
World Care for Mothers and Newborns
Mother and Infant Care in France
Finland’s Mother and Infant Care
US Maternal and Child Health
Arkansas’ Low Standards and Goals
Back to the 19th Century:  Inadequate Local Funding
Support Home Visits!
OMNI Children Newsletter #1: Global

Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1959 | Humanium – Together for ...
In 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It marked the first major international consensus on the ...
adopted by the UN General Assembly 30 years later on 20 November 1989. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was entered into force on 2 September ... › OHCHR › English › Professional Interest
Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and ...
Why won't the U.S. ratify the U.N.'s child rights treaty? - Washington Post  Nov 21, 2014 - The CRC, which turned 25 years old on November 20th, follows the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and is the world's most ...

USA:  ACCIDENTAL OR DELIBERATE PARENTAL HARMS or RISKS TO INFANTS AND CHILDREN.  REPORTS ON INFANTS MARKED BY ASTERISK.  Infant is defined as “a child during the earliest period of its life, especially before it can walk” (Webster’s College Dictionary). 
Reports in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette from February 11 to May 3, 2017.
*Sausha Mitchell, while working at the drive-thru window at a McDonald’s in Tuscumbia, Ala., helped to deliver the “first McBaby,” after rushing to aid a woman in labor on the floor of the restaurant’s restroom.”  NADG (2-11-17), 1A.
*“Princess White, 22, of Dallas pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison for not providing adequate nutrition or getting medical care for her 7-month-old son, who starved to death in 2014.”  ???
* “A women whose ex-boyfriend is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal, to helping dispose of the girl’s body.   “Hid Girls Corpse, Mother Tells Court.”  NADG  (2-11-17),
“Latoyia Marsden, a police corporal in Shreveport who’s been on the force for eight years, was placed on admin. leave after a toddler in her household shot an 11-year old in the leg with Marsden’s service handgun….”  NADG (2-11-17), 1A. 
“Douglas Oneal, 71, of Baker, La., was charged with cruelty to a juvenile for locking his 13-year-old son inside a horse trailer overnight to punish him for being disrespectful, telling deputies ‘he had to do something else’ because whipping his son was no longer working.”  NADG (April 13, 2017).
*Joaquin Rams, 44, of Manassas, Va., will serve life in prison after a judge, in a nonjury trial, convicted him of killing his 15-month-old son in 2012 in an attempt to collect more than $500,000 from three life insurance policies he had taken out on the child.”  NADG (April 14, 2017).
 “Geneva Robinson, 51, of Oklahoma City, who pleaded guilty to five felony child-abuse counts for dressing up as a witch and terrorizing her 7-year-old granddaughter by scratching the girl’s neck, cutting her hair as she slept and other abuse that went on for months, was sentenced to three life sentences, prosecutors said.  NADG (April 15, 2017).
“Meghan Alt, 27, of Irvine, Calif. . . ., was sentenced to 300 days in jail and three years of probation after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography and to lewd acts with a child….”  NADG  (April 25, 2017).
*“Lorenzo McCullough, 25, of Dothan, Ala., was charged with abuse after police said he locked a 2-year-old  and a 4-year-old inside a brick trash bin container, where the children were found covered in ants…”  NADG (April 25, 2017)
*“Kristi Koppenhafer, 25, of Gloversville, N.Y., was on her way to the hospital to give birth but ended up delivering a healthy girl beside Interstate 90 near Albany with the help of two New York state troopers….”  NADG (April 25, 2017).
*Molly Sullivan, 22, resident of Dacatur, AR, pleaded guilty to recklessly causing the death of her 2-month-old son.  NADG (April 28, 2017).
*Tracy Neal.  “Decatur Woman Admits Guilt in Death of 2-month-okld Son.”  NADG (April 29, 2017).  (But oddly the story as reported did not establish Molly Sullivan’s reckless causation.  Watch for later reports.  –Dick)
Cleveland police  “dispatcher Jasmine Thomas, a single mother working full time while also attending college, is changing her lifestyle after being suspended for six days when she was heard snoring on a recorded 911 call.”  NADG (May 3, 2017).
*“Angelica Colon, 29, of East Stroudsburg, Pa., was charged with attempted murder and other counts after doctors determined that her 6-week-old baby had a skull fracture and other injuries, which she blamed on her 6-year son grabbing the child out of his crib and dropping him, police said.”   NADG (May 3, 2017).

Conclusion:  rather than the hypocritical US system of claiming to be #1/the exceptional nation, a nation that loves its mothers and children, we should imitate the French or more than a dozen other nations that walk their talk.  --Dick

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Jul 10, 2008 - Two American mothers find that the U.S. health care system can't compete ... Mary Lou Sarazin holds her baby, Ludivine, in Paris. .... that gets France's health care rated the best in the world by the World Health Organization.
You visited this page.
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mother and newborn at a health center in the Patna district of Bihar, India. ... and kangaroo mother care to keep the newborn warm with skin-to-skin ... These areas account for a significant portion of the world's maternal and newborn deaths.
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NPR:  France's Model Health Care For New Mothers. 
July 10, 200812:00 AM ET.
Heard on Morning Edition

Mary Lou Sarazin went to Paris to teach. When the job ended, she was newly married to a French husband and pregnant. Her visa had expired, however, and she couldn't renew it right away, so she returned to New York a little over a year ago to finish graduate school and have the baby.
Sarazin, 34, has since received health care in both France and the United States. Her experience has given her a firsthand look into why France has earned a reputation for being a good place to be pregnant and have a child.
In New York, pregnant and unable to find work, Sarazin couldn't find health insurance that she could afford. Eventually, she did get limited coverage through New York Medicaid, the state program for the poor and uninsured, but it only covered her prenatal and hospital care. Once the baby was born, she would be uninsured again.
"I just felt like when I was in New York, it was always stress, stress, stress," she says. "I just didn't like the care I was receiving. And I didn't want to stress out about something I shouldn't have to stress out, not at the time of my pregnancy."
France's Model
At the same time, a good friend back in Paris was also pregnant. She kept telling Sarazin about her easy access to prenatal care, the nurses who made home visits and how she'd already gone on paid job leave, months before her baby was due.
So Sarazin headed back to Paris to have her baby.
"In France, it just seems that it's so family oriented," she says. "A pregnant woman is seen and regarded as a special moment."
On a cheery spring day, Sarazin finds a park bench in the sun with Ludivine, her daughter, who was born in November. Ludivine has curious brown eyes. She's bundled in a knitted pink sweater and matching booties made by her French grandmother. Mother and daughter get approving smiles from people who pass by.
"One thing I love about here is, once you have a baby, people are the nicest," Sarazin says. "They're just incredibly, incredibly kind."
In France, she has found affordable health care that's easy to get and easy to use. Medications are provided free or at a deep discount by the national health insurance system. National insurance also reimburses 70 percent of the cost of a visit to a doctor. The rest gets picked up by supplemental insurance, which Sarazin and her husband, a municipal bus driver, purchase for a small monthly fee. Almost 90 percent of people in France have supplemental insurance, and it's often paid in full or in part by one's employer.
Sarazin says she misses the United States. However, if she and her husband have more children, she says they'll stay in France.
Complications At Home
Tanya Blumstein is another American mother who experienced health care when she was pregnant in both the United States and in France.
On a Friday afternoon, she and her husband, Tomas Lacronique, pick up their 14-month-old daughter, Ella, at the home of a nearby day care provider. Ella puts out her arms and squeals in delight. The private day care is heavily subsidized by the French government.
Tanya moved to France after college to work in the film industry. After she met Tomas, his company sent him to work in New Jersey, so they traveled back and forth between Paris and New York. When Tanya got pregnant, she moved to Manhattan to be with him.
In the United States, Tomas had insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Tanya couldn't get on his policy, however, because they weren't yet married. She tried to buy health insurance for herself, but every American insurer turned her down.
The reason: She was pregnant.
"They said, 'We don't insure a house on fire,' " she says, remembering the unpleasant euphemisms insurance agents used to explain their rejections. "I had a 'pre-existing condition,' which was pregnancy. I just couldn't believe it."
Blumstein and Lacronique went to City Hall in New York and got married, and then she was added to her husband's insurance. But even then, they found the American system daunting. There were so many decisions to make, so much terminology to figure out and so much care to coordinate. Their insurance covered major things, such as the labor and delivery, but not totally. And other care, like hiring a midwife, was considered "out of network," which meant the couple would have to pay for a lot of it themselves.
"I have my notes here," Tanya says in the family's walk-up apartment in Paris, as she pulls out a stack of papers. "I was trying to navigate all this. And so, my questions: I was like, wait, what is deductible out of network? What is co-insurance? Will they pay at New York rate if submitted to local, because it was a New Jersey thing? And first visit $3,000, follow-up $175. Out-of-pocket L and D package is $5,000. And then this midwife is only out of network — $7,500 fee for being out of network, plus deductible."
Tanya and Tomas loved living in New York and being in a country where there was so much choice and where it was so easy to be a consumer — except, as they found out, when it comes to health care.
"Everything is so simple when want to get a cab, or rent a car, or take out, eat fast food," Tomas says. "But once it gets to serious issues — your health — then it gets hellish."
Late in her pregnancy, Tanya left Tomas in New York and returned to Paris to have her baby. Tomas later changed jobs to be with his family in France.
The Best In The World
Tanya says health care in France is a lot easier to use. There is a neighborhood health clinic, where she can show up with the baby anytime, with or without an appointment. She gets letters from a local health authority telling her what benefits are available and when she should come to a clinic with her daughter for her regular checkups.
When Ella got a stomach flu earlier this year, a doctor made a house call at 3 a.m. on a Sunday. It was paid for entirely by health insurance.
This is the kind of comprehensive coverage that gets France's health care rated the best in the world by the World Health Organization. It's also why France has some of the world's lowest infant mortality rates and some of the highest birth rates in Europe.
To the French, all of this care is intended to help parents succeed and to make sure children grow up healthy, says Victor Rodwin, who studies the French health care system.
"When you're a new mother, you're very well taken care of in France," says Rodwin, a professor of health policy at New York University, who is also affiliated with the International Longevity Center. "They take very good care of their mothers when they're pregnant. There's, of course, no problem of uninsured mothers. They get good prenatal care, and they have house visitors — nurses who come to the house and help the first week."
House Calls
Those visiting nurses are key to making the system work. They're sponsored by their local Maternal and Infant Protection Service and are sent to make home visits to pregnant women and to parents and their babies.
Nadege Heurtebise is one of those nurses in the city of Chartres. She wears black Chuck Taylor sneakers and drives a small car to the brightly painted apartment of Isabelle and Yannick Fourcade. Their son Clement was born two weeks ago.
The nurse asks how the baby sleeps and eats. She tells the parents about vaccination schedules and well-baby visits, and about their options for subsidized day care. She weighs the baby and then watches the mother breast-feed to see if there are any problems.
The visit takes an hour, which is about average for a home visit. It costs the young parents nothing. There is not even paperwork to sign.
On the drive back to her office, Heurtebise explains that there is an advantage to going to a family's home instead of waiting for the family to come to the doctor. In the home, the nurse can spot a problem before it becomes dangerous, such as a child who is not eating or parents who are doing something incorrectly.
"I never tell them what they're doing is wrong," Heurtebise says. "I just tell them something else is possible."
For almost all of her home visits, though, her job is simply to reassure new parents that they are indeed doing a good job.
Everything But The Laundry
One thing nurses do not do is the family's laundry, contrary to what some Americans may think after watching the Michael Moore documentary Sicko. The movie contains a memorable scene where a state worker goes to a new mother's home to do her wash.
Back at Heurtebise's office, her boss, Dr. Marie-Paule Martin, says she saw Sicko, too.
"I had a great laugh," she says with a smile. "With Michael Moore, it's very caricature."
A state-paid housekeeper will do a mother's laundry only in certain situations, she says, such as when there is a medical complication after the birth. Or, in situations where there is reason to think a mother is neglecting her children, workers may go in to try to stabilize the family.
Even without laundry service, French health care comes at a high cost. There are questions about how long France can sustain it. The health system ran a nearly $9 billion deficit last year. The government of President Nicolas Sarkozy has since proposed that people should pay more of the cost for their own care.
Nonetheless, even under pressure to put the system back in the black, the basic
benefits to mothers and their children remain the same.

Maternity and Infant Care
For 75 years, Finland's expectant mothers have been given a box of baby clothes and ... care for all women in the 1940s, followed in the 60s by a national health ...
Mar 26, 2017 - The baby boxes that Finland gives to all new mothers are legendary. ... Now that Finnishmodel is making inroads in the U.S., but with a twist. .... factor for bed sharing," says Dr. Megan Heere,medical director of the well baby ...
Success stories in Finnish healthcare. Finnish maternity and child health clinic system. Finland'smaternity and child health clinic system plays a central role in ... advice and support for new mothersand families, in vaccinating children and in ...
Jul 8, 2013 - The maternity and child health clinic system dates all the way back to ... The Finnish maternity and child care system has played a crucial role in ...
Jul 6, 2016 - To receive it, the mother has to undergo a medical exam during the first four months ... From Finland, an Intriguing School-Reform Model DEC.
Jul 11, 2013 - The Secret to Finland's Success With Schools, Moms, Kids—and Everything .... In addition to dirt-cheap universal healthcareFinland offers .... liberty, the growing new conservative movement eventually joined together businesses ... When Americans hold up Finland as a model, their arguments are usually ... › Travel
Jun 6, 2013 - Inside Finland's Colorful 'Maternity Box' ... Dr. Dennis Rosen , the associate medicaldirector of Pediatric Sleep Disorders ... By 1979, 100 percent of new mothers were receiving prenatal care in the ... In some countries you can get little gifts, mainly from the companies, but the Finnishmodel is quite unique.
Oct 14, 2016 - Like more than 95 per cent of all expectant parents in Finland, the ... and child related matters from baby safety to education and healthcare.” ...
Finland's social welfare and health care system . ..... Every expectant mother in Finland is entitled to a maternity grant when. □ .... as the 'EduCare' model).
Jan 26, 2017 - In 1938, Finland started offering low-income mothers a “maternity ... as are a few health care trusts in the UK, and some hospitals in Ireland.

May 4, 2015 - The U.S. ranks 61st globally in maternal health, performing worse than any developed country in the world, according to Save the Children's ...
May 5, 2015 The U.S. ranked just 33rd of 179 surveyed countries in the annual Save the Children State of the World's Mothers Report.
May 4, 2015 - The United States has slipped two places in a major international index of maternal and child health, placing 33rd among 179 countries.







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INSTEAD OF AN ADEQUATELY FUNDED NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR ALL FAMILIES AND CHILDREN, THE US HAS LOCAL FUNDRAISING, A GUARANTEE MANY CHILDREN LACK PROPER CARE.  Advocate conversion of $warmaking to caring for mothers and children and to preparing for a warming world and future mothers and children.  Plan for our treasure to go to future generations!
Join us for our Friends of the Future party in Fayetteville!
AACF, Lee Anne and Mark Henry via 
9:41 AM (41 minutes ago)
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Become Friends of the Future With AACF!
Join us for a fun time on a serious topic
You may or may not know that October 21, 2015, is the day they traveled to visit in Back To The Future. Why mark this occasion? To us, it’s a reminder that in all these years, Arkansas has not yet created the future we want for our state’s children. We’re not satisfied as long as too many kids are left behind and too many opportunities for children have been squandered.
Dr. Emmett Brown wasn't quite right when he said we didn't need roads in the future. We do. But we also need an Arkansas filled with people prepared to use them. We need quality pre-k and after school programs. We need access to affordable health care so that kids feel their best and can do their best. We need a better juvenile justice system. Simply put, we need the right opportunities for Arkansas's kids to have brighter futures. 
As Marty McFly would say, this is heavy. But our celebration won't be. So join us for a party to help create a new future through sound public policy (Back to the Future costumes optional).
What? -  Friends of the Future Party
When? - Wednesday, October 21 from 6 - 8 p.m.
Where? - Autumns Ridge Plantation – the beautiful home of Lee Anne and Mark Henry (6529 Autumns Ridge Road in Fayetteville)
Register here to let us know you're coming to celebrate the future with us. Want to play an even bigger role in shaping that future? Join the always supportive Lee Anne and Mark Henry by signing on as a co-host of this party.
There is no cost to attend, but Arkansas Advocates accepts donations in any amount.
We hope to see you there!

Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families
Union Station - 1400 West Markham Suite 306 - Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 371-9678 - Fax: (501) 371-9681 - Email:


Erika McMahan.  “Invest in Kids: Home Visits Can Make Difference.”  NADG (April 21, 2017).  An argument for “opportunities every child in America should have, and can have, if we invest in children at the beginning of their lives through home visiting programs.”  MORE

Contents: Children Newsletter  #1, GLOBAL, December 31, 2014
Helping Children
Local to Global
Sarah Fennell, Restore Humanity
Sam Totten, Children of Southern Sudan
FCNL, Drop Food Not Bombs
UN Children’s Bill of Rights
    Child Protection
Harms to Children
Islamic State Recruiting Children to Fight
Cindy Sheehan:  Wars, Bombings, Children, Libya, Syria, USA
Obama Allows Weapons to Countries that Use Child Soldiers
Dick, Children Fleeing Central American Violence
Trafficking Children
Edelman, Poverty USA and Children
Gibney Documentary on Clerical Abuses: Mea Maxima Culpa
Chemical Pollution-- glyphosate toxicity?-- and Autism
Children, Climate Change, Pollution
Hertsgaard’s Hot:   Impact of Climate Change on Chiara
    UNICEF: Stop Emissions from Vehicles and Factories
    Karl Grossman Interviews Dr. Trasande, Center for Children's Health and the


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)