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Grants Promote Better Health Care System for Kids with Special Needs

PALO ALTO – A project to increase the number of pediatric faculty in California whose research focuses on the care of children with special health care needs is among five grants totaling nearly $500,000 just awarded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.  

See details about the grantees and their work here.

The grant, to the Stanford University Department of Pediatrics, also seeks to enhance pediatric training so that physicians are better equipped to care for the growing population of children with complex chronic conditions.

“Over the past few decades, children’s chronic health problems have taken an expanding portion of the time of primary health care providers, which means that pediatricians will require different training and support to provide optimal long-term care,” said Edward Schor, MD, senior vice president at the foundation. “In addition, few researchers currently focus on the care systems that serve this population of children, so we hope to build a community of scholars whose work will contribute to improved care.”

Overall, the system of health care serving chronically ill kids in California is complex and fragmented; consequently there are shortcomings in the care that the state’s children with medically complex conditions receive when measured against federal quality standards.

“We have made great medical advances for children with chronic conditions, but families still struggle to obtain the services their children need,” said David Alexander, MD, president and CEO of the foundation. “Our goal is to improve the system so that services are comprehensive and better coordinated.”

Nearly half (47.3%) of the state’s medically complex children do not receive effective care coordination. One of the new grants will identify specialized outpatient programs designed to serve these children around the state, and will facilitate communication among the clinics’ leaders to improve services.

Other grants will support:
* Assessment of long-term health care services in California for children with chronic conditions
* Dissemination of national standards for health care systems that serve children with medically complex needs  
* Provision of a continuing news source for state policymakers on child health and policy in the state

For more detailed information on the grantees and their projects, click here.


About the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health: The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health is a public charity, founded in 1997. Its mission is to elevate the priority of children’s health, and to increase the quality and accessibility of children’s health care through leadership and direct investment. The Foundation works in alignment with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the child health programs of Stanford University.