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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

tervention services for families in Allegheny County - and the RAND-University of Pittsburgh Health Institute, a nonprofit organization which will provide training, technical assistance, and evaluation support for the initiative.

Helping Families Raise Healthy Children is working to improve the way local systems of care work so that more families facing the challenges of parental depression and early childhood developmental delays receive the supports and services they need to live healthier lives. The initiative focuses primarily on low-income families in Allegheny County. The collaborative includes the four local Medicaid managed care organizations and over 30 organizations representing physical and behavioral health providers, early intervention specialists, and community maternal and child health staff.

"The Highmark Foundation supported Helping Families Raise Healthy Children because of significant opportunities to improve the health of families in this region," said Yvonne Cook, president of The Highmark Foundation. "This is also an important issue for other local funders that have a vested interest in the health of our communities."

Local funders have been supporting the work of the collaborative since 2002. Early on, the collaborative identified depression as a high priority local public health issue. While efforts are underway to enhance identification and treatment of women at high risk for maternal depression within the maternal and child health care system, many caregivers with depression remain unidentified and untreated. In addition, an estimated 40 percent of the 2,500 infants and toddlers who are referred each year to early intervention due to medical and/or environmental risks have primary caregivers with depression.

"The proposed initiative will help us to better serve families by screening for parental depression in the early intervention system and engaging at-risk parents and their ver
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SOURCE Community Care; UPMC Health Plan
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