Healthy Children: Impacts on the Economy – New White Paper Connects Investing in Children’s Health to the U.S. Economic Future

ORLANDO (February 27, 2020) – The first white paper of a series authored by R. Lawrence Moss, MD, FACS, FAAP, president and CEO of Nemours Children’s Health System, calls attention to the direct connection between healthy children and long term U.S. economic growth and security. The white paper, How Children Can Transform the Economy…And Health Care was released today at the 8th Annual Lake Nona Impact Forum in Orlando.

“Strategic investments in children’s health and well-being can generate a significant return to the economic health of the United States,” said Moss. “We must seize the opportunity to change how we define health in children that will improve long-term workforce productivity for the next generation of adults and drive the American economy for years to come.”

Moss describes how moving  to a “pay-for-health” system of care and addressing the social determinants of health in children, can have a dramatic impact on the nation’s entire health care system. Children account for only about 7% of total medical care spending yet will soon become 100% of the adult population. “The benefits of intervention in childhood are seen across a lifetime and even impact the next generation,” says Moss. “These are smart, strategic investments for the future of our country.”

Recognizing that healthy children will lower overall health spending and improve the quality of the U.S. workforce, the paper outlines the actions Nemours is taking to have healthy children grow up to be healthy and productive adults. Specifically, Nemours has or has committed to the following:

  • Created a value-based services organization to support a culture shift in the payment model.
  • Adopted a population mindset to be accountable for children in the service area whether they seek medical care or not.
  • Partnered with organizations in addressing social determinants of health to apply each other’s areas of expertise and share the cross-sector rewards of improved child health and well-being.

“We are partnering with payers to develop pediatric-specific value-based payment programs and have developed the necessary infrastructure to execute. Our efforts to date have shown significant progress towards a paradigm shift that will lead to lower health care expenditures and better care for children,” said Jamie Clarke, Chief Value Officer at Nemours.

Making an effort through this paper to engage a broader set of private and public sector leaders to action, Dr. Moss paints a picture of a healthier and stronger America, “Our future is bright, just imagine a world where our economy is driven by the power of a truly healthy workforce. By making evidence-based changes in the way we “create” healthy children, we not only improve the quality of life for families, but we also improve workforce productivity and reduce health care-related costs to individuals, companies and governments/communities.”

The white paper, How Children Can Transform the Economy…And Health Care can be accessed at  

About Nemours Children’s Health System

Nemours is an internationally recognized children’s health system that owns and operates the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in six states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty, and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.