CSHCN Medical Home Partnerships for Children and
Core Function: Information Development and Dissemination, Technical Assistance and Outreach Training
The Medical Home Partnership, funded by the Washington Department of Health Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) promotes quality comprehensive and coordinated primary health care for all children in Washington State, especially those with special health care needs or children at risk for developmental or health concerns. The project promotes quality of care through active partnerships with primary health care providers, families, community service providers and specialists. Project staff also provide information on the Medical Home model to pediatric residents and other trainees.
The Medical Home Project promotes medical homes for children with special health care needs by maintaining the state Medical Home Leadership Network (MHLN) of volunteer community-based, health care professional-parent teams. There are currently 20 teams across the state, each of which is typically composed of a pediatrician or family physician, a parent, a public health nurse, and a birth-to-three family resource coordinator. Some teams have added partners from schools, child care, mental health and other settings. The expert teams receive additional training through the MHLN and serve as resources on medical homes for colleagues in their counties. They also choose one or more areas of need in which to develop and carry out a plan to improve family-centered, coordinated care for children and youth in their communities.
The Medical Home Project also provides technical assistance to the Washington Department of Health's Combating Autism Implementation Grant. Project staff attend and help plan state Combating Autism Advisory Council (CAAC) meetings, and participate on the CAAC Training and Access subcommittees, Project staff also helped develop and implement a Tiers to Autism Diagnosis public health model of early identification and diagnosis of children in communities across the state by piloting this model with rural and other underserved communities.
Currently the Medical Home Project is providing leadership for a new state initiative to explore the possibility of a system for universal developmental screening of young children. Project staff have researched and written a strategic plan to further this work and are working on a universal developmental screening implementation plan with the assistance of several workgroups. Project staff are also providing technical assistance to a related American Academy of Pediatrics CATCH grant in rural, Spanish-speaking Yakima County which is exploring implementation of universal developmental screening in that county.
The Medical Home Project maintains the Washington State Medical Home website with resources and information for families, health care providers and community service providers who care for children, especially those with special needs. The website includes diagnosis-specific care guidelines and patient handouts and extensive links to state and local services and resources. In addition, there are sections specific to the medical home needs of physicians and other primary health care providers, families, and the community service providers who assist them.