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COVID-19 Response Grants to Support Children with Special Health Care Needs, Families

PALO ALTO – In response to the impact of COVID-19 on children with special health care needs and their families, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health has awarded five emergency grants totaling $230,000 to local and national agencies.

“Our goal with these grants is to help mitigate the immediate economic and health effects on families served by Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, while also working with national leaders to strengthen the system of care for children with special health care needs during this critical time,” said Holly Henry, director of the foundation’s Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs. Henry noted that the foundation also is working with its current grantees to restructure timelines and goals in response to the pandemic.

The grants:

Strengthening the System of Care and Accountability for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) During the COVID-19 Crisis
Manatt Health Solutions

This grant aims to identify COVID-19-specific state policies and regulations that will help ensure access to needed care for children through Medicaid and the federal CARE Act during the pandemic. Medicaid covers about half of all children with special health care needs (CSHCN) in the United States, playing a central role in addressing the complex physical and behavioral health needs of this particularly vulnerable population. The project is co-funded with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. LPFCH funding will support compensation for national and state family advocates to participate in strategic planning and implementation of advocacy efforts to address state-level policy changes that will improve access.

Patient- and Family-Centered Care and Partnerships During COVID-19
Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care

As hospitals and other pediatric programs respond and adapt to new and challenging conditions resulting from the effects of COVID-19, a demand has emerged for best practice guidelines and resources to assist in implementing Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) principles. This grant will help create a trustworthy “clearinghouse” to identify, develop, and disseminate reliable and vital information on emerging COVID-19 issues related to PFCC approaches to the pandemic. The information will be distributed internationally.

Community-level COVID Relief: Addressing Emergent Needs and Growing Economic Inequities for Low-income Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Patients and Families in Outpatient and Community Settings
Stanford Pediatric Advocacy Program

As children and families in local communities face the economic repercussions of COVID-19, the need for basic necessities is increasing exponentially. Those most directly affected are vulnerable populations, such as low-income families and children with special health care needs. Through engagement with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital outpatient clinics, community clinics, and partner organizations, this grantee will help provide material goods to these children and families, along with information about local resources.

COVID-19 Food Support Services at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH)
LPCH Department of Family-Centered Care

Access to food is a persistent issue for many of the children and families served at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem. This grant will support development of a comprehensive food security program that will be offered within the hospital to provide immediate relief to inpatient families, and eventually expanded to LPCH satellite clinics. This project has the potential to create a pathway to more expansive and long-term programming to address food insecurity faced by patients and families. 

Media Coverage on the Impact of COVID-19 on Children with Special Health Care Needs
California Health Report

This grant will support reporting on how children with special health care needs and their families are being affected by COVID-19 in California, from access to critical therapies to support from state and federal agencies. The stories will reach a broad audience across the state, helping raise awareness of the challenges and inequities that persist for children with special health care needs, particularly during the pandemic.


About the Foundation: 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. Through its Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs, the foundation supports development of a high-quality health care system that results in better health outcomes for children and enhanced quality of life for families. The Foundation works in alignment with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and the child health programs of Stanford University.