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Family Involvement

Healthy Tomorrows:

Celebrating 25 years of the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program

video clip iconThis program recently celebrated 25 years of supporting innovative, community-based efforts to improve child health. To commemorate this milestone, Healthy Tomorrows created a video to tell the story of the program Exit Disclaimer from around the country. Learn about what nine HRSA-funded grantees, addressing topics on vision health, asthma, medical home, and access to care have accomplished in the program’s 25th year.


Grantee Spotlight: Healthy Tomorrows Hawaii Project

photo of mother and child at Kokua Kalihi Valley Health Center, HawaiiQ: What is the focus of your project? Kokua Kalihi Valley Health Center (KKV) is in a unique position because it is located at the doorstep of a community that has a high concentration of Pacific Islander, Asian, immigrant and local families. Through MCH services, and the Healthy Tomorrows Hawaii project, KKV strives to address health determinants, such as, poverty, low-literacy rates, poor health outcomes, homelessness, and cultural and language barriers.... Read More

Division Highlights:

photo of famly with babyThe Division of MCH Workforce Development involves families in several innovative ways throughout its programs. Family involvement is seen as an important component to all programs within the Division of MCH Workforce Development. Outreach to families is critical to the success of efforts in many programs, including Healthy Tomorrows and the MCH Pipeline. Several programs, such as Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) and Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health (MCH-PH), engage family members to serve on advisory boards and councils to ensure that a family perspective is represented in program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

The expertise and input of family representatives and family consultants are also utilized in programs including Pediatric Pulmonary Centers (PPC) and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP). Family and consumer representatives participate in state teams that engage in capacity building with the MCH Workforce Development Center as well. Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) has a longstanding history of incorporating family faculty and family trainees into their programs, and many family faculty serve as a core discipline on the leadership team. Both LEND and PPC programs frequently include family participation. Within Healthy Tomorrows, LEND, PPC, and the MCH Navigator, family members take part in creating and designing trainings for providers. Some programs such as LEND and PPC even invite family members to directly participate in provider training.

Within LEND and PPC, family members are invited to participate in advocacy work or research, and family faculty members also provide key feedback for programs. These family faculty members serve as teachers and mentors, develop curricula around families for program use, and often coordinate family programs designed to grant trainees a first-hand account of living with a disability. Healthy Tomorrows, LEND, and DBP additionally invite family members to provide outreach and education to other family members who may be eligible for the same services and program. With such a diverse variety of family involvement activities, programs are able to capitalize on the rich contributions family members bring.


MCH Navigator Releases New Training Brief on Family-Centered Care Exit Disclaimer

MCH Navigator logo Family-centered care ensures the health and well-being of children and their families though a partnership approach to health care decision-making between the family and health care provider. It honors the strengths, cultures, traditions, and expertise that everyone brings to this relationship. This page contains learning opportunities aimed to assist MCH professionals increase their knowledge and skills of the family-centered system of care and improve the health outcomes of women, children and families. View the Family-Centered Care Training Brief. Exit Disclaimer

Trainee Spotlights: Center for Excellence in Disabilities

Photo of Nicole RobinsonNicole Robinson came to the WVU-CED for a one-semester internship, three and a half years later she is still at the CED, leading a team of undergraduate interns, like herself, as a LEND trainee..... Read the full article at CED Exit Disclaimer


Photo of Brittany ValdezThis fall is Brittany Valdez's first year as a graduate assistant, but she is a familiar face at the CED. After coming on board as a student worker two years ago with the West Virginia Assistive Technology System (WVATS) program, she has taken advantage of several training opportunities that the CED has to offer including...... Read the full article at CED Exit Disclaimer


Photo of Rachael BieseckerWhen many of us are young children we want to be a race car driver, princess or an astronaut when we grow up. Rachael is one of the few people in life that decided in grade school that she wanted to be a physical therapist and is now on her way to achieving that goal....... Read the full article at CED Exit Disclaimer

Meet the LEND Family Discipline Network!

LEND Family Discipline Network

The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) program serves to improve the health of children who have or may be at risk of developing a neurodevelopmental or other related disability. LEND aims to prepare trainees from several professional disciplines to provide improved clinical care and to take up leadership roles through providing long-term, interdisciplinary training. LEND also strives to include family members throughout all aspects of its curriculum using a variety of innovative methods. One particularly pioneering aspect to LEND’s family involvement has been the LEND Family Discipline Network.

This network, created in 2004, is composed of family members who have served as faculty members within LEND programs and are able to provide expertise in academic and advisory capacities. Family Discipline Network members work to address challenges to family inclusion, provide technical assistance in publications, and present at nationwide conferences. Recently, the Family Discipline Network presented at the 2014 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) conference on findings related to diverse methods of family participation in LEND programs. The Family Discipline Network additionally is involved in a comprehensive survey of LEND programs assessing the perceived impact and importance of family involvement. Results from this survey, which will potentially be administered yearly, will be used to provide AUCD, LEND, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau with an overview of the value of family participation within LEND programs.

Did You Know?

Did you know that over the last 5 years, Leadership Education in Adolescent Health programs have consistently reported an increasing degree of family, youth and consumer participation? With a possible score of 24, LEAH programs increased from 16.7 in fiscal year 2010 to 17.4 in FY 2012.


Did you know that the MCH Workforce Development Center's Family Engagement Team has the following three major activities underway:

  1. Action Learning Sets
  2. The System Support Map, and
  3. Resource Development and Dissemination

The Center established the Family Engagement Team to develop and disseminate resources for family leaders that will increase their knowledge related to health reform, improve leadership skills and prepare them to build the capacity of a broad and diverse community of family leaders.

AUCD Family Resources:

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) programs train professionals in several disciplines to improve the health and well-being of infants, children, and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities or at risk of developing a neurodevelopmental disability. Recognizing the key role that families may play in the treatment and care of individuals with disabilities, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), which provides support and technical assistance to LEND and other programs, highlights several resources geared towards involving families in care. Exit Disclaimer

Some notable resources include:

Highlights From Around the Network:

Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Selects Five Training Programs to Address Diversity and Inclusion of Family Members:

  • New Hampshire LEND (Children's Hospital at Dartmouth)
  • Vanderbilt LEND (Vanderbilt University)
  • Nebraska LEND (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
  • Virginia LEND (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Arizona LEND (University of Arizona)

READ MORE at AUCD Exit Disclaimer

Background Resources:

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