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Pittsburgh Partners Launch Promising Family-Centered Care Model: Special Focus on Promoting Parental Well-Being and Healthy Child Development
Date:10/28/2009

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A Pittsburgh-based maternal and child health care collaborative will undertake a unique and innovative initiative to help families face the challenges of parental depression and early childhood developmental delays.

Under U.S. federal law, all states must implement a system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers, birth to age three, who have developmental concerns, and their families. Many states do not include risk factors in their eligibility criteria. This is unfortunate as parental depression is widely recognized as a potential risk factor for affecting a child's development. Through this initiative, young children in families where parental depression may exist will be tracked for developmental delays within the Allegheny County early intervention system.

The Helping Families Raise Healthy Children initiative is supported by a three-year, $500,000 matching grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships program. The grant was awarded to Community Care, the managed behavioral health care organization in Allegheny County. Local funders of the initiative currently include The Highmark Foundation (nominating funder), UPMC Health Plan, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Fine Foundation, FISA Foundation, and Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

"Studies have shown that parents who are depressed lack the energy to carry out consistent routines and to engage in the early bonding and attachment process that is critical to health and development in early childhood," said Diane P. Holder, president and chief executive officer of UPMC Health Plan.

"At the same time, a child's developmental delays can negatively impact parental stress and depression. This project can build a new pathway to care for these dual-risk families," she said.

Community Care is partnering with the Alliance for Infants and Toddlers - which coordinates early in
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SOURCE Community Care; UPMC Health Plan
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