The Child Development Clinic at VDH
The evaluations that families receive through a clinic like this open doors to services they might not have access to otherwise. They can lead to therapy coverage, which helps children get the care they need.
Creating effective improvement programs takes time, and Shaw says VCHIP has had to be patient. But the program is now seen as a leader in its field.
Birth Information Network
The Birth Information Network (BIN) conducts statewide, population-level surveillance of selected structural birth defects. It also documents possible links to environmental and chemical exposures.
The BIN has been re-engineered to serve a wide variety of referral sources. Its single point of entry now combines the UVM Medical Center (UVMMC) Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician’s diagnostic evaluation work with BIN functions and the long-standing VDH Child Development Clinic. In addition, a new clinical manager position was created to lead the single point of entry.
Besides the diagnostic evaluations of children with neurodevelopmental delays, the CSHN program provides educational and outreach opportunities to families and health professionals. It works in concert with a variety of state and community partners including 2-1-1 Vermont, Children’s Integrated Services/Early Intervention; the children’s divisions within the Departments of Mental Health, Children and Families, and Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living; and The Family Place.
Infant & Toddler Outreach Clinics
For families of young children with developmental concerns, diagnosis is crucial. It opens many doors — including insurance coverage for therapy — that can help children get the supports they need to thrive. It can also be a lifeline to support for parents and caregivers struggling with fatigue or burnout.
REACH offers free telehealth evaluations for children birth to three. A clinician will assess the child’s hearing, vision and motor skills, and if needed, can provide an audiologic, otolaryngologic and pediatric neurodevelopmental evaluation for the family.
In collaboration with regionally-based Children’s Integrated Services – Early Intervention, this project brings a multidisciplinary team to CIS-EI sites across Vermont. They can diagnose concerns, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in support of the earliest possible appropriate early intervention. They can also bring family, child and CIS-EI team together at the time of diagnosis to plan for intervention strategies.
UVM Medical Center Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic
The Department of Pediatrics provides clinical services in a number of areas including developmental-behavioral pediatrics, family psychiatry and the ear, nose and throat clinic. We also conduct research in neonatology, general pediatrics and chronic diseases as well as a host of health services research projects.
In 2018, a long-held goal was realized with the recruitment of UVM Medical Center’s first full-time developmental behavioral pediatrician. Together with VDH funding for a unified point of referral, triage and intake, this new model shifted the statewide network of comprehensive developmental pediatric evaluation services from a mobile clinician traveling across the state to a UVM Medical Center site. The unified program now receives referrals from all regions of Vermont and is supplemented by regional medical social work positions funded by VDH in a gap-filling model. At its peak, the statewide network was able to evaluate more than 400 children each year. Some families waited up to a year for their evaluation.
VDH Child Development Clinic
The VDH Child Development Clinic helps families access the community resources they need to support their children’s growth and learning. The staff consists of a pediatrician, nurse practitioner, social worker and educational consultant.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont Pediatrics Institute (VCHIP) leaders like Professor of Pediatrics Wendy Davis and Associate Professor of Pediatrics Breena Holmes stepped up to help their colleagues and partners. The regular CHAMP calls they host help drive quality improvement activities and training in support of a system that can keep up with the needs of young children.
Davis and Holmes are familiar with the work of the NICHQ-led Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network, and have been instrumental in helping Vermont build partnerships, receive quality technical assistance and guidance on measuring and evaluating their ongoing projects. They know that when it comes to reducing the infant mortality rate, there’s always room for improvement. They also understand that the solution won’t come from one department or agency, but rather from an entire system.