News & Updates

Medicaid Research Organization Launches Second Phase of Childhood Obesity Initiative

May 2, 2017

Washington, DC - May 2, 2017 – The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) in partnership with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) and Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) has launched Phase II of its ChildHood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (CHOPT) for Medicaid.

The long-term health and financial consequences of childhood obesity are well known, yet there is a dearth of evidence-based interventions for children.  The initial CHOPT for Medicaid project, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), was the first-time clinicians, researchers, community partners, Medicaid health plans, and families worked together to identify the barriers to implementing childhood obesity prevention and treatment initiatives. The culmination of the project highlighted lessons learned in program design and community resource development, identified strategies to reduce the effects of social determinants of health, and increased awareness of Medicaid health plan-led initiatives through the identification of best practices.

Building on this successful effort, phase two of CHOPT for Medicaid will focus on several themes including patient-centered care, evidence-based interventions, community engagement, clinician engagement, social determinants of health, reduction of racial disparities, and implementation science.

The 12-month project will feature a National Advisory Committee of government, advocacy, clinical, and academic stakeholders chaired by renowned childhood obesity expert and former Board chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Sandy Hassink, as well as Medicaid health plan representatives to provide guidance on project objectives. It will also establish an Innovation & Implementation Network that will focus on overcoming state and federal barriers, planning for long-term sustainability, data analysis, and building community partnerships.

The work of the Innovation & Implementation Network will include the development of a second toolkit focused on implementation, lessons learned, and additional resources. Possible sections for the second toolkit may include team building, engaging community stakeholders, developing the business case for health plan executives, community partners, and clinicians, family engagement in the development and implementation of initiatives.

“Childhood obesity impacts not only the health and well-being of individuals and families but also communities.  This project brings together key stakeholders to identify and test potential solutions,” noted Jennifer Moore, IMI’s director. “We are excited about to work with an amazing group of national leaders on this project.”


About Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI)
The Institute for Medicaid Innovation focuses on providing innovative solutions that address important clinical, research and policy issues in Medicaid through multi-stakeholder engagement, research, data analysis, education, quality improvement initiatives and dissemination and implementation activities.  For more information, visit

About Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP)
ACAP represents 57 nonprofit safety net health plans in 26 states, which collectively serve more than seventeen million people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other health programs. For more information, visit

Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA)
Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA), is the leading national trade association focused solely on the universe of Medicaid health plans. MHPA works on behalf of 134 commercial and nonprofit plans that serve more than 20 million Medicaid enrollees in 39 states.  MHPA provides advocacy and research that support policy solutions to enhance the delivery of quality care for Medicaid enrollees through improved access and cost-effective services.

About American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults. To accomplish this, AAP shall support the professional needs of its members. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Lydia Tonkonow ​​​​​​​