According to a recent report published by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, more than 150,000 children in Pennsylvania don't have health insurance and those that do are not receiving the care they need.
The report says about 1 in 4 children who are insured through publicly funded programs like Medicaid, are not up to date with their immunizations.
Nearly half are not receiving annual dental checkups and more than 40 percent aren't visiting the doctor as often as they should between 0 and 15 months.
For interim Chief of Pediatrics Jennifer Janco with St. Luke’s University Health Network, childhood is the last place where health care should be ignored.
“They're at a critical age where brain development is going on, nutrition is very important and their bodies are still growing and so we want to make sure that that growth is a healthy process for them throughout childhood” said Janco.
Statistics aside, Dr. Janco chooses to look at the report as a challenge she and others can overcome at the newly renovated KidsCare in Allentown.
“One of the initiatives that we did this summer is working with our St. Luke's Dental van and trying to make things easy for families,” she said.
In addition, Janco says they have evening hours so parents won't have to take off work to make doctor's appointments, and beginning in October, patients will be able to visit the office without an appointment.
The office is also in a convenient location, in downtown Allentown which helps patients who may not have access to transportation.
Regardless of where parents take their children, Janco adds its extremely important for parents to have a central doctor's office.
“To have a medical home, to have an office that you can contact regularly for all your health care needs, where all the information is one place and is more likely to be kept complete, comprehensive, and up to date,” said Janco.