A Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant will help increase early childhood screenings for children between the ages zero through five at all Vibrant Health locations.
HRSA recently awarded $30 million to 151 community health centers, including Vibrant Health, for expanding early childhood development programs. Vibrant Health received the maximum award of $200,000 which will increase their capacity to provide developmental screenings for children from birth to five years. The grant funding will also enhance Vibrant Health’s support of parents and caregivers by improving care coordination, including referrals to specialists or community services when appropriate.
Nationally, 1 out of every 4 children ages 0-5 years are at risk of developmental or behavioral delay. Screenings are an essential tool to assist parents in understanding if their child’s progression through predictable developmental phases – like sitting up or using language – is on track. A screening can also help identify appropriate interventions if it’s found a child’s development has slowed, stopped, or reversed. Having additional trained and qualified staff in Vibrant Health’s clinics will result in more children being screened and more families getting access to services, programs, or resources. Research shows that developmental screenings and early intervention can measurably improve a child’s long-term health outcomes and academic performance. But families often encounter barriers such as language or lack of insurance when trying to access these important tools and resources. With this funding, Vibrant Health’s staff can advocate for, and partner with, families that otherwise might not be able to access culturally sensitive and appropriate, empowering health care for their children.
“Addressing the barriers and needs of patients is critical to ensuring better health outcomes for patients, particularly the target population of children aged birth to five years,” says Dr. Sandra Stites, Vibrant Health Chief Medical Officer, “I am confident that Vibrant Health will continue to expand equitable access to high quality care through increased early childhood development screenings and expanded care coordination efforts.”