Assemblywoman Paulin Visits Blythedale

Today, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and her Chief of Staff, Michelle Sterling, visited the Blythedale Children's Hospital and toured some of the new facilities that have opened since her last visit, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Assemblywoman Paulin, who has served in the Assembly for more than 22 years, was selected to lead the Health Committee in January, filling the role former Assemblymember Dick Gottfried held for 35 years.

"Amy has been a tremendous friend to Blythedale throughout her more than two decades of service in the Assembly," said Blythedale President & CEO Larry Levine. "She has played an integral role in ensuring that our legislation to protect the needs of medically fragile children was signed into law, and continues to advocate on our behalf as as the regulatory process to implement the new law gets underway."

The law, now known as Chapter 170 of the laws of New York State 2023, was signed by Governor Hochul on June 30 and goes into effect on September 1. This landmark law confronts the practices of insurance companies and Medicaid managed care health plans by outlining a series of requirements and accommodations which must be met in determining "medical necessity" for medically fragile children.

Assemblywoman Paulin toured Blythedale's new Simulation Lab and learned about the Hospital's vital Parent and Family Education program from Chief Nursing Officer Jill Wegener. The program provides extensive support and training to the child’s parents and caregivers prior to discharge, ensuring a safe transition home. The program has become ever-more vital given the persistent shortage of home care nurses trained in caring for medically complex children. Assemblywoman Paulin also met with Dr. Dennis Davidson on the Hospital's Infant & Toddler Unit, and learned more about the challenges Hospital staff face in ensuring appropriate insurance coverage for medical complex infants.

Her visit concluded with a meeting with Larry Levine and other members of the Hospital's senior management team to discuss key points to be included in the regulations to ensure comprehensive protections for New York State's medically fragile children, which comprise a mere 7/10ths of one percent of the State's children.