David Rubin, MD, director of PolicyLab, a research center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), was recently appointed to the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Military Family Readiness Council (MFRC).
Established in 2008 as a Federal Advisory Council, the MFRC makes recommendations to the Secretary of Defense about policies and programs around military family readiness. The MFRC also monitors requirements on DoD’s support of military family readiness and evaluates and assesses the effectiveness of military family readiness programs. Military family readiness is the concept that military families must be well-supported so that the servicemen and servicewomen can focus on their mission.
In keeping with its continuing commitment to ensuring that military families have the healthcare services and supports they need for their children, including children with special needs, the MFRC reached out to the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) to provide perspective from the pediatric healthcare arena and to nominate a representative to serve on the Council.
“Adding a representative from a children’s hospital underscores the DoD’s recognition that the family’s healthcare is an essential component of ensuring military family readiness and well-being,” CHA Vice President of Public Policy Jim Kaufman said. “Children’s hospitals have a longtime commitment to ensuring that children of military families have access to the care they need at the right time, in the right place and from the right provider.”
While all children have unique healthcare needs as compared to adults, children of military families face special circumstances as a result of their parents' service.
“The known effects of deployments and frequent relocations on children must be taken into consideration when developing the medical and social support systems necessary to serve these families in a timely and efficient manner,” Dr. Rubin said.
Dr. Rubin’s team at PolicyLab has been conducting research for the DoD’s Defense Health Program (DHP) since 2011. Their work specifically examines the stress families experience when soldiers return home from deployment. The team’s recent findings in the American Journal of Public Health illustrate the need to support families throughout the deployment cycle, especially during high-risk time periods such as the six months following deployment.
CHOP is also a champion of the TRICARE for Kids Coalition, which advocates for DoD policy and practice to address the needs of children.
“With his demonstrated commitment to the comprehensive needs of children from military families, and with CHOP being one of the largest providers of care and treatment to military children from all around the globe, Dr. Rubin’s appointment to the Council was fitting,” Kaufman said.
As Director of PolicyLab, Dr. Rubin works to develop evidence-based solutions for the most challenging health-related issues affecting children. In addition to his role at PolicyLab, Dr. Rubin is a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. In 2013, Dr. Rubin was appointed to the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. Dr. Rubin is also a past member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Task Force on Foster Care and the Committee for Early Education, Adoption and Dependent Care.
“As a pediatrician at CHOP, I care for children from all different kinds of families, including those in the military,” said Dr. Rubin. “And as a researcher, I know that these children face unique challenges and are greatly affected by the deployment of their parent. I look forward to serving military families as a member of the Military Family Readiness Council.”