Oklahoma

Recent Articles

Virtual Heroes Ball is a Rousing Success

OKChildren

OICA Continues to Serve Despite Challenges Created by COVID-19

Thank you to everyone who was a part of the fourth annual Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) Heroes Ball last Friday night. It was a success beyond even our best hopes. The event was held virtually across the Zoom platform, originating from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Postmates provided food delivery to participants. This virtual banquet was a tremendous success, especially for being the first of its kind. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

OICA Joins Medical Professionals Urging Caution with School Reopening

OKChildren

Virtual Heroes Ball Set for Friday, July 31

On Monday, the State of Oklahoma saw a record high of 1,401 new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. With the surging numbers and impending return to school of many students, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is urging everyone to take caution and protect yourself as much as you possibly can, along with those around you. OICA joined the GotMaskOK coalition to encourage Oklahomans to wear masks. If you are interested in learning more about this and showing support, go to the GotMaskOK campaign (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GotMaskOK/ and website: https://www.gotmaskok.org/) to be a part of this. Also, OICA has aligned with Oklahoma pediatricians and family physicians to encourage safety and precautions before returning the school. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Oklahoma Pediatricians & Family Physicians Outline Recommendations for School Reopening

OKChildren

In an effort to unite Oklahomans in the shared goal of children returning to safe school settings, both for children’s well-being, and to help communities move forward through stress that we are all facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (OKAAP) and the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) issue this statement. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released guidance on re-opening schools. The AAP states a clear “goal of having students physically present in school” yet stresses that “this should happen with careful measures to keep students and staff safe, and with flexibility to adapt as needed to the community’s prevalence of COVID-19.” The AAP statement also outlined comprehensive guidance that included age-specific suggestions to mitigate potential spread, suggested higher- and lower-priority strategies for schools, and made recommendations focused on specific activities and populations. OKAAP and OAFP support the AAP statement. Given this guidance, at this time OKAAP and OAFP cannot support a statewide return to in-person school decision for Oklahoma in August. While some counties may have extremely low rates of spread, others have growing numbers of positive cases or consistently high positive test rates indicating that community spread is uncontrolled and testing is not yet sufficiently reaching all infected people. Additionally, safety policies and resources are not standardized across the state, leading to inequitable protection for children, teachers, and families. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

As Parents and Schools Shift to Distance Learning, Eye Doctors Encourage More Vision Exams

Oklahoma’s optometric physicians are reminding parents that all students should receive comprehensive vision exams before the start of the school year, especially as students rely to a greater degree on distance learning, tablets, and computers. “Because of COVID-19, we are seeing a lot more work being done remotely, and that means a lot more screen time,” said OAOP President Tyson Allard, OD. “Sitting 15 feet away from a blackboard is a lot healthier for your eyes than staring at a tablet that’s a foot from your face. The result of that kind of sustained exposure to screens can cause everything from minor headaches to eye strains.” Smart phones, tablets and computers can cause a condition known as “Computer Vision Syndrome,” or CVS. Symptoms of CVS include eye strain, headaches, fatigue, burned or tired eyes, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain. Nationally, parents report that two-thirds of all children use devices for homework that can cause CVS. Furthermore, undiagnosed vision problems are extremely common (approximately one-in-four children has an untreated vision condition). Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Heroes Ball Seen as Model for Nonprofits Across Nation

Voting Open for People’s Choice Awards at oica.org

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) invites members of the public to cast votes for outstanding individuals and organizations and honor their work for children and families across the state. It is all part of OICA’s annual Heroes Ball slated for Friday, July 31. The event happens each summer to recognize those Oklahomans who have worked to improve the quality of life for the state’s youngest residents and to raise money for OICA’s ongoing mission of child advocacy. This year’s Heroes Ball is unique in that it is the first attempt by a nonprofit organization in the nation to conduct a virtual event of this size with meal delivery. OICA’s fourth annual event is being held virtually due to the need for social distancing as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Historic Heroes Ball to be Virtual, Award Finalists Ready for Your Votes

There is not enough positive news in the world these days. With the constant barrage of politics and pandemic updates, it is hard to maintain an upbeat view. I am thankful that the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) not only works to overcome the many horrible issues facing the youth of our state, but we also attempt to shed light on the good things occurring to help our children. In light of this, it is my pleasure to announce the finalists for the 2020 Anne Roberts People’s Choice Award. The Anne Roberts People’s Choice Award is given annually to an Oklahoma individual and an organization that the public feels deserves special acknowledgment. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

What You Need to Know About Medicaid in Oklahoma

Even with the passage of State Question 802, many people do not fully understand the Medicaid system. I have focused this column on the information Oklahomans need to help those who might qualify or want further information. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) is the state agency that administers Medicaid in Oklahoma. They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of who qualifies and who receives the benefit of insurance coverage through this program. The state Medicaid program is called SoonerCare. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

OICA Applauds Passage of SQ 802

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) expressed its gratitude to state voters for the passage of State Question 802, the proposal to expand Medicaid in the state. The question passed with just over 50.4 percent of the vote and a 6,488 majority. The organization’s Board of Directors endorsed the state question earlier this year. As part of the organization’s support, it produced and distributed a 30-second television commercial along with several digital and print advertisements and a dedicated web page on the OICA website focused on State Question 802. OICA’s advertising was fact-based. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

OICA to Host Tele-Conference on Medicaid, Work with Lawmakers on Interim Studies

By the time that you likely read this, the June 30 party primary election will have been decided. Congratulations to the winners of each of those elections! We look forward to working with the outright winners tomorrow, and those who are elected in the November general election. OICA is currently in the planning stages of an online forum to discuss the merits of health care for Oklahomans based upon the outcome of State Question 802, which voters will have decided on June 30. Access to health care will require much planning as we go forward, no matter how the vote turns out. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

Child Advocacy Group Praises Governor for Approving Vaccine Rules

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) praised Gov. J. Kevin Stitt for approving new Health Department rules relating to childhood vaccines. “The governor’s action helps protect countless children today and generations yet unborn from preventable diseases,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s CEO. “His approval of the Health Department’s rules means Oklahoma families get accurate information about childhood vaccines so they can make informed choices about their children’s health.”

The rules ensure parents receive factual and accurate information about vaccines, countering the glut of misinformation on the internet that is available only with the click of a mouse. Nothing in the new rules curtailed the parental exemptions available under the law for those families who chose not to vaccinate their children. “Support for these rules was a key vote on our recently-released legislative scorecard on key children’s issues,” Dorman said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: