2021 Roadmap Deep Dive: Beyond health coverage: How can states use Medicaid to fund the Roadmap?


Expanding income eligibility for Medicaid is one of most effective state policy solutions for the foundational prenatal-to-3 period. States can also amplify impact on the earliest years of development by leveraging Medicaid to fund four out of the six effective strategies of the Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap.

Watch below to hear from national experts for an overview of how states are using Medicaid to fund prevention and early intervention programs, and the opportunities and challenges of using it as a funding stream.

This event is part of the 2021 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap Deep Dive Workshop series and was held on November 3, 2021.

Recording and Available Presenter Slides

National Perspective

ELISABETH WRIGHT BURAK, Senior Fellow, Center for Children and Families, Georgetown University. Elisabeth Wright Burak is a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) with two decades of experience in federal and state policies to support low-income children and families. She currently leads CCF work on Medicaid and young children’s healthy development. Since joining CCF in 2011, Elisabeth has worked on a range of health coverage issues, such as state Medicaid expansion and the 2015 CHIP extension in Congress. She previously served as Director of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs with Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families, where she led successful efforts to expand access to ARKids First (Medicaid and CHIP for Arkansas children) and aided other victories for families at the state capitol, including tax relief for low-income Arkansans and increased access to health and education programs. Elisabeth holds Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from Smith College.

KAY JOHNSON, President, Johnson Group Consulting. Over the past 35 years, Kay Johnson has become nationally recognized for her work in maternal and child health, as an advocate, researcher, and consultant. Reducing the impact of poverty and racism and increasing access for women and children are two of her lifelong goals. Kay is president of Johnson Group Consulting. She has been active in Medicaid and EPSDT at the federal and state levels and has served as a consultant advisor to more than 45 states. Her expertise encompasses a wide range of issues. Her work at the Children’s Defense Fund, March of Dimes, George Washington University, and Johnson Group helped to shape the direction of MCH and Medicaid policy since 1984. Prior to her policy career, Ms. Johnson provided direct services to low-income families at the community-level in early care and education programs in the late 1970s.

MATT SALO, Executive Director, National Association of Medicaid Directors. Matt Salo was named Executive Director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) in February 2011. The newly formed association represents all 56 of the nation’s state and territorial Medicaid Directors, and provides them with a strong unified voice in national discussions as well as a locus for technical assistance and best practices. Matt formerly spent 12 years at the National Governors Association, where he worked on the Governors’ health care and human services reform agendas, and spent the 5 years prior to that as a health policy analyst working for the state Medicaid Directors as part of the American Public Human Services Association. Matt also spent two years as a substitute teacher in the public school system in Alexandria, VA, and holds a BA in Eastern Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.

State Perspective

MELODIE BAKER, Co-chair Raising NY, Education Trust-NY. Melodie is the co-chair for Raising New York and is leading the evaluation and research for Rockefeller Institute of Government working in partnership with, New York State Department of Health’s First 1000 Days on Medicaid Initiative. She is a nationally recognized education and early childhood development leader and advocate. She was recently tapped to serve on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Reimagining Education Advisory Council to devise strategies for re-opening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Melodie has devoted her career to advancing health and education opportunities for young children, families, and disadvantaged students. In 2018, she founded Q&A STATS Evaluation Firm to restore power and authorship to communities of color that are typically the focal point of research, and to contribute meaningful insight, culture, and erudition to science. Melodie earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Buffalo State College, a Master’s degree in Executive Leadership and Change from Daemen College, an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistical Analysis from SUNY-Buffalo and finishing her PhD in Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods at the University at Buffalo.

KIMBERLY FRIEDMAN, JD, Policy Engagement & Analysis Director, Family Connects International. Kimberly came to the Center for Child and Family Policy and FCI in 2018. As policy engagement and analysis director, Kimberly serves as a model expert and consultant for public stakeholders as they are exploring development of early childhood systems at the local and state levels. She monitors relevant federal and state policy, provides guidance on public/private funding options and explores opportunities to engage with the insurance/managed care industry. Both in her experience as an attorney and as a business development officer for a nonprofit organization, Kimberly’s career has focused on early childhood.

MAUREEN GREER, Executive Director, IDEA Infant & Toddler Coordinators Association. Maureen Greer is the Executive Director of the IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA) as well as the owner and principal of Emerald Consulting, founded in 2001, specializing in perinatal and early childhood finance, policy, and integrated systems. Prior to establishing Emerald Consulting Maureen spent eight years as the Part C Coordinator in Indiana. In that position, she was responsible for a major redesign of the early intervention system including the establishment of central financing, development of a universal application process and the establishment of independent service coordination. Prior to this position, Maureen spent five years at Indiana University directing the training and technical assistance project for early intervention serving families, providers and the health care/medical community. Maureen provides consulting services to the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC), the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI), the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), the Center for Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) and the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR).

CATHERINE HANCOCK, Early Intervention Program Manager, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Catherine K. Hancock is the Early Intervention Program Manager (Part C Coordinator) at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). She is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and has worked in hospital settings, public health, mental health, Medicaid policy, and Early Intervention. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science degree, both from Virginia Commonwealth University.

KARA HINKLEY, Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs, Centering Healthcare Institute. As Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs at CHI, Kara works with state agency, legislative, and regulatory leaders and payers to implement policies that improve health, transform care and disrupt inequitable systems at the intersection of maternal and child health, with an emphasis on alternative payment models and enhanced payment for group prenatal care. Kara is a former Special Advisor for COVID-19 Disabilities & Emergency Preparedness for the Louisiana Department of Health in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and Wanderly where she worked with leadership to secure and allocate more than $130 million in federal CV19 relief funding and developed and implemented the In-Home Vaccination Program for the state. She is a policy and strategic partnerships expert and is a former health policy associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) where her work focused on health care cost containment, provider scope of practice, health facility regulation, and state pharmaceutical policy. She holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Louisville and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Denver and is a former Military Police Officer with the Kentucky Army National Guard.

KATE RUSSELL, Medicaid Program Manager, New York First 1000 Days, New York State Department of Health. Kate Russell is the New York State Department of Health Medicaid Program Manager leading the First 1,000 Days on Medicaid Governors directed initiative that focuses on physical, social, and emotional needs of children, their parents/families, and the needs of high-risk pregnant mothers. She has her Master’s degree in Science, where she focused her studies on child and adolescent development. Kate has extensive experience working in hospital systems focusing on the crucial developmental needs of NICU babies, worked as the case manager for a Pediatric and Developmental/Behavioral health practice at Albany Medical Center, and also worked as a mental health treatment assistance for an impatient mental health unit in Saratoga Hospital. Kate also championed the delivery of the New York State Patient-Centered Medical Home (NYS PCMH) model within New York State’s primary care practices.


This is a guest post by Kim Gilsdorf, a Program Officer for the Perigee Fund, a national philanthropy committed to prenatal-to-age-3 mental health.    I work with organizations that support the mental health of families
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With most legislatures adjourned for the year, we recap the 2024 action on state policies to support children and families. So far this year, lawmakers throughout the country debated—and many passed—legislation that aligns with four key components of the prenatal-to-3 system of care.