Skip to main content

Jay Rockefeller and Sylvia Burwell to keynote WVU Children’s Health Policy Summit Sept. 7

The event has reached capacity. To participate, please register for the webcast.  Register for the webcast

As children’s access to quality and accessible health care is in uncertain times, West Virginia University’s John D. Rockefeller IV School of Politics and Policy  is partnering with the WVU Health Sciences Center and WVU Libraries to host a Children’s Health Policy Summit: Understanding the People, Place and Policy Behind Health Care. 

Senator Jay Rockefeller
Jay Rockefeller

The summit is scheduled for Sept. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Erickson Alumni Center. Keynote speakers will include West Virginia native Sylvia Burwell, president of American University and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and former U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a leader in state and federal health care policy for 40 years.

Speakers and panelists will discuss progress and challenges related to children’s access to quality, affordable health care. Discussions will also consider the future of health policy and the delivery of care.

Burwell notes that policymakers can learn from West Virginia's example. "West Virginia is a national leader in caring for children. Ninety-seven percent of West Virginia children have health insurance. It ranks in the top 10 states in having the lowest percentage of children uninsured, and has made more progress to cover children since 2013 than most states,” she said. “Every child deserves access to quality and affordable health care, and the progress West Virginia has made is progress we should make across the nation." 

Sylvia Burwell
Sylvia Burwell

In addition, the summit will use Senator Rockefeller’s archives to reflect on lessons learned from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) on this 20th anniversary of the bipartisan, federal and state collaboration that provides health coverage to children in working families. Congress is currently considering the future of CHIP, which is funded through Sept. 30.  

Senator Rockefeller cites the need for all stakeholders to come together on health policy. “Our country and state are facing potentially seismic changes and challenges in children’s health care. Major policy shifts, rising health care costs, changes in federal matching funds and philosophical disagreements demand our attention,” he said. “This is a critical moment to bring together policymakers, providers, families and scholars to take an honest look at both where children’s health care has been and where we need to go.”     

The summit is sponsored by WVU’s Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics and the WVU Health Sciences Center and WVU Libraries, with financial support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Ware Family Foundation. 

Students, faculty, policymakers, health care providers and families are encouraged to attend. The conference has reached capacity, so interested participants are encouraged to register for the webcast at

This is the second annual multi-disciplinary conference organized by WVU’s Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics to address timely and important policy matters facing West Virginia. Last year, the school joined with the WVU College of Law to co-host “Building a Resilient West Virginia: Taking Control of the Mountain State’s Future,” a conference that examined the transitioning energy economy.