happy children, mother and child, and expecting mother and father

Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Grant Title: Community Connections: Connecting the home visiting and maternal child health communities

Web Site: Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc. Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Cheryle Dyle-Palmer
Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc.
St. Louis, MO
Phone: (314) 432-4330
Email: Cheryle.Dyle-Palmer@parentsasteachers.org


The purpose of the proposed Community Connections project is to improve the health and development of children in Greene County, Missouri so they are ready to learn upon entry to school.

Goals and Objectives:

In order to response to the health needs of underserved, at-risk families with children age prenatal to six years, Community Connections will: 1) build an interdisciplinary collaboration between maternal child health (MCH) providers and the Parents as Teachers evidence-based home visiting program 2) improve parents' ability to navigate the health system, and 3) increase access to preventive health care and to health insurance. Community Connections will be conducted in Greene County, Missouri, primarily in the metropolitan Springfield region.


More than one third of families in Greene County with a child age five and younger live below the federal poverty level. Further, the number of families living in poverty grew by twice the national rate -- 85 percent compared to 42 percent -- between 2001 and 2010. Additionally, more than 94 percent of the families in Greene County live in a "Health Professional Shortage Area." Furthermore, a 2010 study conducted by the Springfield Mayor's Commission for Children showed that one out of five local children are "not prepared" for kindergarten due to poverty, lack of access to quality health care and early education services, and disparities in health and wellness. Community Connections builds upon, enhances and expands the existing services of the project partners, Springfield Public School District's Parents as Teachers program and the Every Child Promise community coalition. Additional community partners/stakeholders in this project are Cox and Mercy Health Systems, Jordan Valley Health Center, a federally qualified health center, and additional Maternal Child Health providers and pediatric practices in the region. Community Connections aligns with the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Goal 2: "Diversity and Health Equity "and Goal 3: Interdisciplinary/Interprofessional Training and Practice" by developing & implementing an interdisciplinary training/orientation and by partnering home visiting services with pediatric care providers in multiple settings. Through this project, Parents as Teachers National Center will develop a training/orientation and a "community blueprint" for integration and coordination of home visiting and MCH/pediatric services. Parents as Teachers National Center will use its national network of nearly 2,000 local Parents as Teachers programs and 70 trainers to disseminate the training/orientation and to help additional communities replicate Community Connections during and after the grant period.

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