UnitedHealthcare has provided a $1 million grant for the Connecticut Children's Medical Center's Office for Community Child Health (OCCH) to help enhance care delivery and address critical public health issues for children. These issues include child development, wellness, and chronic conditions such as asthma and obesity.
Connecticut Children's OCCH is a first-of-its-kind model for providing community-based, coordinated care for children with an emphasis on healthy child development, wellness, and disease and injury prevention. OCCH is developing and testing health service delivery models that address community, state and health system needs. Many new programs will be piloted in Hartford with the goal of seeing them replicated on state and national levels.
The UnitedHealthcare grant will help create a Maintenance of Certification program to train primary care pediatricians in managing diseases such as asthma and obesity. The UnitedHealthcare Innovation Fund will also be established to help OCCH quickly bring new programs from design to implementation, and ultimately, to evaluation and replication.
In addition, OCCH will provide 600 primary care doctors at more than 170 practices in Connecticut with training to enhance children's health care quality.
"We are proud to partner with UnitedHealthcare to support pediatricians' lifelong learning and professional development," said Paul Dworkin, M.D., director of OCCH. "Together, we will enhance the quality and capacity of pediatric care to address an array of critical health issues, and help promote the healthy development of children in Connecticut and nationwide."
"We look forward to working with Connecticut Children's Office for Community Child Health and pediatricians throughout Connecticut to enhance the coordination, delivery and quality of children's health care," said Stephen J. Farrell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New England.
To date, OCCH has partnered with 10 local, state and regional programs to help community and primary care providers coordinate quality, cost-effective care for children under one roof. The programs include Easy Breathing, Educating Practices in their Communities (EPIC), the Hartford Childhood Wellness Alliance, Help Me Grow, Injury Prevention Center, Lead Action for Medicaid Primary Prevention (LAMPP), Resident Education in Advocacy and Community Health (REACH), and the Special Kids Support Center (SKSC).
"Our office is a better place for primary care because of the OCCH and its programs. Looking ahead, there is an opportunity for OCCH to have a dramatic impact on Connecticut's childhood obesity epidemic by helping identify key indicators and community resources for patients and families dealing with the disease," said Barbara Ziogas, M.D., a primary care physician at Farmington Pediatrics. "Obesity is a significant health issue in our country, and the OCCH provides us with the resources to access community care and intervene now."