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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Grant Title: Support our Heroes' Kids

Web Site: Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage and Disability, Inc. Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Leslie Rubin, MD
Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage and Disability, Inc.
Atlanta, GA
Phone: (404) 303-7247
Email: lrubi01@emory.edu

Problem:

Children of veterans are at increased risk for adverse social, mental health, developmental and educational outcomes. They are likely to have parents who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, who abuse alcohol, and/or live in a domestically violent household.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Establish Healthcare Without Walls -- Veterans (HWW-V), a community-based Pediatric Medical and Mental Health Home for children of veterans to serve at least 60 vulnerable children annually by Year 3. Objective 1: Establish HWW-V, a community-based Pediatric Medical and Mental Health Home for children of veterans at Mary Hall Freedom House (MHFH) and expand the screening and referral component to t Fort McPherson Objective 2: Conduct an initial needs assessments and on-going evaluations to help ensure that HWW-V reaches its goals and meets stakeholder needs. Objective 3: Adapt a health care tracking system in Year 1 to monitor, prompt, and document preventative health, mental health and dental care consistent with AAP Screening Guidelines and Mental Health Toolkit in Years 2-5. Goal 2: Improve continuity of healthcare for veterans' children by increasing maternal health literacy. Objective 1: Increase the health literacy of at least 50 mothers through a health literacy program incorporating educational, mentoring, and coaching activities and an emotional behavioral health component that is established at MHFH veterans' family program in Year 1; expanding to new sites in succeeding years. Goal 3: Improve health system response to the needs of veterans' children through outreach to community pediatricians, pediatricians-in training, mental health clinicians, other pediatric healthcare providers. Objective 1: Communicate with a minimum of 30 community pediatricians and 30 community mental health practitioners about the HWW-V model and the special health care needs of veterans' children by Year 5 via newsletters, eblasts, and conference presentations to raise their awareness. Objective 2: Establish a pediatric residency program regarding the unique characteristics of veterans and their children that provides month long training for 5 pediatric residents in Years 25. Objective 3: Develop a training module for mental health providers and provide training for mental health practitioners who want to provide services to this community.

Methodology:

Establish an advisory committee to provide input and guidance to guide project implementation; collaborate with veterans program at Mary Hall Freedom House (MHFH) to understand population needs and parameters of service; conduct needs assessment with staff at MHFH and the women in the program to ensure program development and implementation meets their needs and is culturally competent; conduct child health screening, assessment and referral at MHFH; Employ a post-doctoral level psychologist to conduct child mental health screening, triage and stabilization; Develop and implement innovative health literacy and behavioral health parenting programs for the veterans based on a needs assessment conducted with them; Provide child health and development information and resources to staff at MHFH based on a needs assessment conducted with them; Conduct awareness and training activities for the pediatric and behavioral health community; Collaborate with representatives of the VA at another site to expand the program.

Coordination:

Mental Health America - advisory committee Emory University - Evaluation Morehouse School of Medicine - healthcare personnel Title V - Advisory Committee AAP - Advisory Committee Dept. of Behavioral health and Developmental Disabilities - Advisory Committee VA -- Advisory Committee; referrals.

Evaluation:

A data plan has been developed for all indicators and measures, including data sources and metrics. Forms and systems have been developed to ensure data are captured and reported. Progress is reported quarterly to Program Director. Actual performance is measured according to benchmarks to track progress toward outcomes. Significant variances will trigger closer analysis and might result in design modification. Program director and key staff have regular (every 2 -- 3 months) meetings with evaluator.

Experience to Date:

An advisory committee made up of consumers, health and mental professionals and veterans service providers was formed to help plan, implement and evaluate the program. A provider survey was conducted to assess knowledge regarding veterans issues as relates to child health. A health and mental health literacy curriculum has been developed and we are in the process of creating an online training version to increase accessibility. Program staff have attended military culture training and a military veteran peer specialist has been hired to assist in outreach and program delivery to this population. Outreach materials including a brochure and poster have been developed and distributed to service providers reaching this population. The program website was retooled to better promote the program and to include links for enrollment and referrals.

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