Children and youth with special health care needs have or are at increased risk for chronic physical, behavioral, developmental, or emotional conditions. VCHIP works to engage health care providers, patients and stakeholders, and policy makers to improve systems to support the unique needs of this population of children, youth and families.
By engaging health care teams within the University of Vermont’s Children’s Specialty Center, our work supports quality improvement efforts to address the broad needs faced by children with chronic illness, facilitate and coordinate timely access to needed care, and ultimately improve child health outcomes while reducing health care costs. We also have efforts focused on care coordination for children with health complexities and transitions from pediatric to adult-focused care.
Children and youth who enter foster care are another focus area within this population. These children and youth may have experienced complex trauma and adverse experiences. They often have unmet health needs, chronic health conditions as well as developmental and mental health concerns, leading the American Academy of Pediatrics to designate children in foster care as children with special health care needs. Our work in this area aims to ensure that children and youth entering foster care have access to high-quality care in medical homes guided by the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) through promotion of comprehensive medical evaluations and enhanced health supervision visits.