Children’s Health 2018-03-30T12:20:53+00:00


Tennessee’s children do better with comprehensive healthcare


TJC is a strong, independent voice for children. We help individuals and advocate for all Tennessee children through education, advocacy and public policy.

We educate the public and policymakers about the importance of vital children’s healthcare programs, such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the need to preserve, protect and improve these programs to better meet the needs of children and families in Tennessee. Failing to preserve these programs would adversely impact children and the healthcare infrastructure overall.

We educate community partners and advocates through in-person and virtual trainings, education materials, and our monthly newsletter. Please visit our Resources section to find information that could be helpful to you.

We represent individual clients, including children and families, who need assistance to appeal a denial of medical services or enrollment under TennCare (Medicaid), CoverKids (CHIP), CHOICES, or ECF CHOICES. For help with children’s coverage issues, please visit our Need Help page, or call 615-255-0331 if you or someone you know needs our services.


Trump Administration’s New Policy on Unemployed Workers – Staff Attorney Chris Coleman, January 2018

Medicaid’s Important Role to Curb Opioid Abuse: An Underutilized Tool in Tennessee – Director of Children’s Health Kinika Young, October 2017

The Importance of CHIP Reauthorization – King Child Health Fellow De Vann Sago, September 2017

The American Health Care Act is a Bad Deal for Tennessee – Staff Attorney Chris Coleman, May 2017



We are on a mission to enroll every eligible child in Tennessee in Medicaid and CHIP. These programs are instrumental in providing health insurance coverage to children in low- and middle-income families so that they can have a healthy start.  Almost every uninsured child is eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, and they often need help with the application process. By partnering with other organizations, we are training volunteers and professionals who encounter uninsured children to help them enroll.

For more information about this campaign, visit If you would like to sign up for training or if your organization is interested in becoming a partner, please contact a member of our team. With your help, we can bring the number of uninsured children in Tennessee to ZERO!


The Student Ambassador Program began in 2018 to promote engagement among high school students in health care advocacy. Ambassadors learn about the health insurance system, best practices for advocacy, and how to engage their peers to use their voices. Ambassadors develop skills in digital communications, public speaking, and project management.

TJC’s Student Ambassadors participated in a conference in January 2018. At the conference, ambassadors learned how insurance programs like Medicaid support our communities and about how they can engage with TJC’s work to increase and protect access to coverage.


TJC has partnered with the Martha O’Bryan Center to focus on leveraging Medicaid to combat adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), improve health outcomes, and address health disparities in communities of color. Trauma-informed care is an approach to providing services and support to traumatized individuals (as evidenced by a high ACEs score) that is proven to avoid re-traumatization and create safe, stable and nurturing environments. Kinika Young is a certified Building Strong Brains Tennessee trainer. If your group is interested in being trained about the Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development, including ways to prevent ACEs and mitigate their impact, please contact Kinika.


TJC is supporting the Tennessee Disability Coalition on a project to strengthen and support the consumer advisory councils under the Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES program, TennCare’s long-term services and supports program for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This initiative aims to ensure that MCOs and TennCare are more responsive to the needs of clients and their families.


TJC’s Michele Johnson and Anna Walton and Georgetown Center for Children and Families’ Joan Alker discuss the importance of health coverage for children.

TJC’s Michele Johnson shares what inspired her to devote her career to fighting for children. 

Lawyer Kinika Young left her job as a partner at Bass, Berry & Sims to work as the Director of Children’s Health at Tennessee Justice Center.



Kinika Young

Director of Children’s Health

Michele Johnson Headshot

Michele Johnson

Executive Director, Co-Founder

Anna Walton

Health Policy Associate

Dennissee Calle

King Child Health Fellow

Alex Kent

Creative Director