Transforming Systems for Parental Depression and Early Childhood Developmental Delays: Findings and Lessons Learned from the Helping Families Raise Healthy Children Initiative

Transforming Systems for Parental Depression and Early Childhood Developmental Delays: Findings and Lessons Learned from the Helping Families Raise Healthy Children Initiative

Transforming Systems for Parental Depression and Early Childhood Developmental Delays: Findings and Lessons Learned from the Helping Families Raise Healthy Children Initiative

Transforming Systems for Parental Depression and Early Childhood Developmental Delays: Findings and Lessons Learned from the Helping Families Raise Healthy Children Initiative

Excerpt

Starting in August 2009, a group of partners in the Pittsburgh area involved with the behav; ioral health and Part C early intervention systems undertook an effort to improve care for fam; ilies at risk for the dual challenges of caregiver depression and early childhood developmental delays. This effort—;called Helping Families Raise Healthy Children—;was conducted under the auspices of the Allegheny County Maternal and Child Health Care Collaborative, a broad; based community coalition that has been operating since January 2002. This report describes the initiative, including the impetus behind it and its planning and implementation processes, and presents the results and lessons learned from a comprehensive evaluation of the program’;s implementation. It concludes with recommendations for practice and policy change designed to expand and sustain the initiative’;s achievements.

Background on the Allegheny County Maternal and Child Health Care
Collaborative

Allegheny County, which includes the city of Pittsburgh, is a community rich in health care resources. Nevertheless, the region has its shortcomings: high rates of women receiving no pre; natal care in the first trimester (112 per 1,000 pregnancies); high rates of infants born at low birth weight (80 births per 1,000); high infant mortality rates (7.6 per 1,000 live births); par; ticularly among African-American infants (15.1 per 1,000 live births); and mothers and young children with poor health outcomes in a number of key areas (Commonwealth of Pennsylva; nia, 2012). Nationally, the infant mortality rate was 6.15 in 2010 (National Center for Health Statistics, 2012). Faced with this continuing evidence of poor health outcomes and racial dis; parities, as well as the documented negative lifelong consequences and high costs associated with low birth weight and lack of prenatal care (Institute of Medicine, 2007), stakeholders in Allegheny County recognized the deficiencies and need for change in the local system of maternal and child health care.

In recognition of the important role that community coalitions can play in the health system reform process (Institute of Medicine, 2001; Adams, Greiner, and Corrigan, 2004; Gostin, Boufford, and Martinez, 2004), The Heinz Endowments, a large Pittsburgh founda; tion, commissioned the RAND–;University of Pittsburgh Health Institute in January 2002 to organize the Allegheny County Maternal and Child Health Care Collaborative. In partnership with the Allegheny County Department of Health and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, a project team led by RAND brought together all key systems partners in a collaborative effort to build a model system of care for mothers and young children in the . . .

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