Children’s Village, a partnership of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, The Memorial Foundation, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and Comprehensive, has received a $900,000 federal grant – one of just 14 in the nation – to provide services to rural children with special health care needs and their families.
The Office of Rural Health Policy awarded the Rural Health Network Development grant under a program established to expand access to and improve coordination and delivery of essential health care services in rural areas. The grant, worth $300,000 per year for three years, was awarded in a competitive bid process.
The grant money will help Children’s Village build upon several innovative best practices, including family resource coordination to ensure children with special health care needs who live in rural areas are being represented and cared for under their health plans.
“This grant will help to ensure Children’s Village meets the needs of rural families across the Yakima Valley,” Children’s Village Executive Director Jackie McPhee said. “From improving the availability of developmental screening to boosting the number of skilled health care professionals, this money will go a long way to help provide needed services to children with special health care needs and their families.”
The grant will enable Children’s Village to continue efforts to provide universal developmental screening training to medical providers and child care centers and early intervention consultation to child care and early learning centers. Children’s Village also will provide training for allied health professionals, including student internships in occupational, speech and physical therapy, as well as counseling and nutrition. “These are areas where we lack skilled professionals, and these jobs are often harder to fill,” said Linda Sellsted, Children’s Village clinic manager. “We’ve learned from dental and medical residency programs that the students who do their training here, who see a snippet of the Yakima Valley, are more likely to stay here.”
Children’s Village is the only regional neurodevelopmental center in Central Washington, providing more than 30 different specialized services to children with special health care needs each year. Services offered include medical specialty clinics, developmental evaluations and collaborative diagnostic clinics, dental services, occupational, physical and speech therapy, mental health counseling, educational services, behavioral intervention and nurse home visiting programs. Children’s Village also offers a comprehensive parent and family support group called Parent to Parent.
In 2012, Children’s Village partners worked with some 40 other local, regional and state organizations to provide integrated care for more than 6,130 children with special health care needs in Central Washington.
Children’s Village will partner with health plans, Central Washington University, Heritage University, University of Washington, medical clinics, child care and early learning centers, Seattle Children’s Hospital and SignalHealth to implement the grant.