SPAN Parent Advocacy Network’s Executive Co-Director, Diana Autin, was quoted in both the House and Senate press releases about the legislation: “Family to Family Health Information Centers provide families of children with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) help and support that improves their lives and the lives of their children. … Without the support of the F2Fs, their ability to be effective partners in their children’s healthcare would be greatly diminished.”

Diana Autin

SPAN Executive Co-Director, Diana Autin

Autin’s comments regarding the legislation also state that “F2Fs help families find their voice and the confidence to use that voice at critical times in their children’s lives.  The F2F staff are also parents, so they understand what parents are going through and the information and skills they need to support and advocate for their children.  Because of that assistance, CYSHCN around the country have greater access to early and continuous screening to identify their needs, a medical home to coordinate needed care, community-based services that are easier to use, adequate healthcare financing, and stronger family-professional partnerships, leading to transition to improved adult life outcomes including a more meaningful and inclusive life. The F2F funding serves as a foundation for these supports in every state and territory.”Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2Fs) are family-led centers in each state, US Territory, District of Columbia, and several tribal communities. F2Fs employ staff who are highly-skilled family members with first-hand experience and understanding of the challenges faced by families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN).  These staff provide critical support to families caring for CYSHCN, particularly those of children with complex needs and those from diverse communities. F2Fs also assist providers, state and federal agencies, legislators, and other stakeholders in better understanding and serving CYSHCN and their families.

Autin will testify before the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 4, 2019, at their invitation.  SPAN has played a vital role in boosting the need for F2Fs and recognizes that, for New Jersey, it is due to the hard work and support of NJ Representatives Pallone and Sherrill and NJ Senator Menendez that this legislation, which will provide greater stability to the network of F2Fs, has been introduced and is expected to pass.