Children and Parents
The overall goal of Project Access was to implement, describe and test an invention providing enhanced social service support and legal services to families of infants with special health care needs discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) of the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Children’s Hospital.
Chicago’s rate of hospitalization for asthma is more than twice the national average, and its mortality rate is among the highest in the nation. The costs are staggering: more than $1.4 billion a year in Illinois for direct costs related to asthma care. This project looked at the effects of different strategies for treating low-income, inner-city children with asthma, using reinforced patient/family education with and without case management. The report provides useful information about the impact on health outcomes and costs.
When children are discharged from a rehabilitation hospital with physical or cognitive disabilities, they and their families face many challenges. In addition to accessing rehabilitative services, they often need support for returning to school, transportation to services and facilities, and help with functioning in their homes. This demonstration project sought to improve children’s transitions from inpatient rehabilitation centers back into their communities.
“Community schools” combine educational instruction with other vital services. They unite the most important influences in children’s lives—schools, families, and communities—to support learning and development. Many of Chicago’s community schools have identified health programming and services as important areas of need. To begin a process to help community schools address this need, Bank One, the Chicago Community Trust, Polk Bros. Foundation, and the Michael Reese Health Trust commissioned a report from Millennia Consulting.
Since the early 1990s, major policy changes at the national level have created a revolution in health care coverage for low-income children—most strikingly, a shift from welfare-based to income-based eligibility. This report, and the related policy brief, document how those changes have affected the enrollment of Illinois children in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. They show the progress Illinois is making in enrolling children, the gap that remains between eligibility and enrollment, and the disparities between children who are covered and parents who are not.
Chicago is a leader in the school-based health center movement, with 32 centers operating in schools in the city and suburbs. These centers provide physical, psycho-social, and mental health services and health education to thousands of underserved children and adolescents. They are partnerships between schools, health departments, and local providers, supported by a patchwork of funding streams. Their future sustainability and effectiveness depend on the commitment of sponsoring organizations, funders, and public entities.