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Poverty & Disparities

The poverty/disparities work group is committed to improving health outcomes for low-income and at-risk children.

Rachel Tellez, MD, FAAP, chairs this work group.

Priorities include:

1) Educating members about health disparities, poverty/ homelessness, food deserts, etc.

2) Identifying community and state-level partners

3) Advocating for increased access to care, food, housing, and transportation.

Click on the tabs below for more information about advocacy and policy, statistics and trends, practice resources, and partner organizations.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is an important time for learning about the opportunities and challenges to support the most vulnerable children and families. Visit the MNAAP COVID-19 page for a collection of resources.




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Access to Care and Equity in Early Childhood/Prenatal to Three Policy Development


MNAAP’s Early Childhood Caucus has collaborated with the AAP Division of State Government Affairs in the preparation of the guide below for policymakers and legislators: Minnesota Early Childhood/Prenatal to Three Policy Development. The document addresses Access to Care, Early Education, Equity, Family Environment, and Systems Development.

View the Guide (PDF)

Addressing Violence and Intolerance: Guidance for Families


MNAAP President Dr. Andrew Kiragu wrote a statement about the epidemic of violence and intolerance threatening the physical and emotional health of children and ways pediatric providers can partner with parents to break the cycle. Read the statement and consider sharing with colleagues and patient families.


AAP Policy Statement: Poverty and Child Health in the United States


About 21 percent of children in the United States currently live in poverty. Recognizing the health implications of poverty and toxic stress, AAP’s latest policy statement on this topic urges pediatricians to screen for poverty by asking one simple question: “Do you have difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month?” and be aware of tools and resources that can help lift families out of poverty. Read the policy statement Poverty and Child Health in the United States.


AAP Policy Statement Recommends 2-Question Screening Tool to Screen for Food Insecurity


With 1 in 5 children living in food-insecure homes, AAP calls for pediatricians to use a 2-question screening tool to screen for food insecurity and refer those who screen positively to resources that support access to adequate, healthy food. Read more about AAP’s policy statement “Promoting Food Security for All Children.”

Diversity in Minnesota Information Sheets

The 19 Diversity in Minnesota Information Sheets from Culture Care Connection now contain the latest available, population-specific data on health and social determinant disparities on the following populations: African AmericanAmerican Indian,  Asian Indian, Bhutanese, CambodianDeaf and Hard of Hearing, Ethiopian, European AmericanHispanic/LatinoHmongIraqi,  Karen,  LGBTQ,  Liberian,  Poverty,  Rural Health,  Russian,  Somali,  Vietnamese.


Pediatric Disparities in Minnesota

An infographic created by MNAAP



Search for data by state, city or congressional district on a wide variety of pediatric topics and characteristics.


Health Equity of Care Report

View data collected by medical groups in Minnesota that compare quality measures, such as adolescent behavioral health and/or depression screening, pediatric preventive care and optimal asthma care.


Health Equity of Care Report

View data collected by medical groups in Minnesota that compare quality measures, such as adolescent behavioral health and/or depression screening, pediatric preventive care and optimal asthma care.

Poverty Screening and Referrals

Hunger Solutions | SNAP Rx

A statewide organization that connects food-insecure individuals and families to local food and nutrition resources, including SNAP.

Bridge to Benefits | Handout

An excellent online screening tool that clinics can use to see if families may be eligible for public work support programs in Minnesota, from health care coverage to SNAP to child care assistance. Upon receiving the form, program staff follow up with patients directly to connect them to the services they may need. Coordinated by Children’s Defense Fund.

The Hunger Vital Sign

Quick Links:

Note that these forms can be completed in other languages or online. Find links and more info about each program at Bridge to Benefits»

Equity and Inclusion

Achieving Health Equity in the Clinic
16 tips from Dr. Chris Reiff, director of clinical services at the Community-University Health Care Center, and member of MNAAP poverty and disparities workgroup

Implicit Bias
Implicit bias can have a direct impact on care provided and widen the disparities gap. This online tool is intended to help providers identify any implicit bias they may hold and consider how they can address it to improve quality of care for all populations served.

Embracing Different: Teaching Children to Embrace Diversity Starts in the Preschool Years
An article from MNAAP member Dr. Rachel Tellez in Minnesota Parent.

Brain Hero
The “Brain Hero” video, depicting how actions by a range of people in the family and community impact child development, is the product of a collaboration between the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC).

Baby Brain
Yahoo News released a mini-documentary that examines how poverty can be addressed starting prenatally. The documentary features research from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child.

AAP Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health

Addressing Racism

The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health – AAP

Food Insecurity Strategies

Addressing Food Insecurity: A Tool Kit for Pediatricians Feb 2017

Food Insecurity Referrals: What to do with Positive Screens (MNAAP webinar 6/14/18)

Understanding Homelessness

Heading Home Together: Minnesota’s 2018-2020 Action Plan to Prevent and end Homelessness

Addressing Family Homelessness in Pediatrics: Progress and Possibility; Schickendanz and Chung

Enhancing Community Relationships

Building Trust in the Somali Community (MNAAP Webinar 8/27/18)


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