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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

y young children in appropriate care that meets their needs and preferences," said James Gavin, president of Community Care.

"What's important about this initiative is that it looks at the family as a unit," said Melanie Hallums, family liaison for the initiative. "Now, both the caregiver and the child will receive the attention they need."

"Getting help to caregivers who may suffer from depression is not always easy. Many of these parents are overwhelmed by their young children's needs, as well as other daily life challenges, and are not aware of, cannot get to, or do not feel comfortable accessing available behavioral health services," said Michele Myers-Cepicka, executive director of the Alliance for Infants and Toddlers. Building trust between caregivers and service providers will be a primary focus of the initiative.

"Despite the well-established connections between parental depression and early childhood development, our local systems of care are set up to serve children at risk for developmental delays and parents at risk for depression as if the conditions and patient groups are independent of each other," said Donna Keyser, management scientist at the RAND Corporation and project director for Helping Families Raise Healthy Children. "This initiative will bridge these gaps by strengthening relationships among providers in the maternal and child health care system and the early intervention system, and training both groups to provide culturally competent, family-centered care."

The Local Funding Partnerships (LFP) program is one of the most competitive annual grant-making programs of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2009, the LFP program received 127 applications; only 11 projects were awarded funding.

To introduce this initiative to the community, the collaborative will host a kick-off celebration for its partners and their families on Nov. 6, 2009, at 6 p.m. at The Children's Museum of P
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SOURCE Community Care; UPMC Health Plan
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