Skip to content
See all Press

$1.4 Million in Grants Aim to Improve Health Care System for Children with Special Health Care Needs

PALO ALTOA major initiative to improve California’s health care system for children with special needs has been launched by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, which on June 13 awarded nine grants totaling $1.4 million, David Alexander, MD, foundation president and CEO, announced today.

“Children with special health care needs and their families face a multitude of challenges in obtaining health care and related services,” Alexander said. “Families often find that they have limited access to pediatric specialists, inadequate insurance coverage to meet their child’s complex needs, and poor coordination among the multiple care providers from whom they receive services. Our goal is to encourage development of a health care system that is easier for families to navigate and also provides high quality care funded through an efficient and comprehensive payment system.”

The new grants will support research on how to improve various aspects of the health care system as it serves children with special needs, said Edward L. Schor, MD, senior vice president at the foundation, who directs the grants program.

A grant to the Division of Nursing at California State University, Sacramento, for example, will study the experiences of school nurses and other staff members in caring for the growing number of children who require assistance with complex medical needs during school hours. The researchers will make recommendations about how school health services can better integrate with other parts of the health care system. Another grant, to the California District of the American Academy of Pediatrics, will underwrite a survey of pediatricians and pediatric specialists to develop recommendations about how to reduce complexities in the system to improve care for patients. A grant to the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, will fund research with families of children with special needs to develop recommendations for how health care providers can improve families’ experiences with the health care system.

“Our goal is to obtain insights and recommendations from those who interact with the health care system every day – families and care providers – about improving the quality of care for children with special health care needs and reducing the burden on their families,” Schor said. “We plan to build upon these findings and expand our investments in the years to come.”

The Foundation also manages the California Advocacy Network for Children with Special Health Care Needs, which brings together parents, health care providers, policymakers and others interested in working jointly to improve the health care system.

A full list of the grants is available here>>