Parents with Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) experience a complex system of uncoordinated services.
What is the Innovative Approaches Initiative?
The Appalachian District Health Department received a three year grant opportunity that focuses on bringing together key community stakeholders to work on systems that impact families with children and youth with special health care needs from birth to 21 years of age. Innovative Approaches is a community-led, family driven initiative. Currently, Innovative Approaches has Steering Committees in Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga Counties with over 60 participants, including 26 parents with children and youth with special health care needs and multiple workgroups in each county. This initiative is supported by the North Carolina Division of Public Health, Children and Youth Branch.
Innovative Approaches has 6 goals based on the national Maternal and Child Health Bureau performance measures:
- Increase the percent of CYSHCN whose families are partners in shared decision-making for their child’s optimal health.
- Increase the percent of CYSHCN who receive coordinated, ongoing, comprehensive care within a medical home.
- Increase the percent of CYSHCN who receive adequate health insurance and financing to pay for needed services.
- Increase the percent of CYSHCN who are screened early and continuously for special health care needs
- Increase the percent of CYSHCN who can easily access community based services
- Increase the percent of youth with special health care needs who receive the services necessary to make the appropriate transitions to adult health care, work and independence.
What are special health care needs?
Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) are defined by the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) as:
“…those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.”
Some examples include:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Childhood Cancers
- Cerebral Palsy
- Deaf or Blind
- Down Syndrome
- Heart Disease
- Developmental Delays
- Mental Health Conditions
- And Many More
How can I get involved?
Join the Innovative Approaches Steering Committee. The committee is a group of people from community organizations, providers, school personnel, and families who have children or youth with special health care needs. Meetings take place every other month in Watauga County and monthly in Alleghany and Ashe counties. Contact Elizabeth Kerley if you would like to join.
If you would be willing to take a brief survey to provide the Steering Committees with local data that will guide work-group projects, please choose a link below:
When are meetings?
Alleghany County Steering Committee:
Typically meets the first Thursday of every month from 12 PM to 1:30 PM at the Alleghany County Public Library (115 Atwood Street, Sparta, NC 28675)
Ashe County Steering Committee:
Typically meets the fourth Tuesday of every month from 10:30 AM to 12 PM at the Ashe Early Learning Center (406 School Avenue, West Jefferson, NC 28694)
Please contact Elizabeth Kerley at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend any of these meetings.
How can I learn more about Innovative Approaches?
For more information, please contact:
Innovative Approaches Coordinator
Phone: (828) 264-4995 ext. 3114
Parent Outreach Coordinator
Phone: (828) 264-4995 ext. 3140