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New Grants Promote Family Involvement in Health System Change

PALO ALTO – Equitable funding for health services, improved transition to adult care, and increased media coverage of child health policy are among the goals of six grants recently awarded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

All six grants are designed to improve the health care system for children with special health care needs, with two grants focusing particular attention on family involvement in promoting system change.

Family Voices of California (FVCA) will use funding to strengthen its communications capacity and increase visibility around the state for its services and programs. FVCA provides information and support to families regarding their children with special health care needs. A key FVCA program offers training to empower family members to advocate for improved public and private policies, and assists individuals in finding opportunities to serve on policy committees.

A grant to Children Now, a child health advocacy organization, will facilitate meaningful family participation in state health policymaking. Funds will be used for work that will enable family members to participate on state and local health advisory committees in consistent and substantive ways.

"Families' involvement is crucial to system improvement," said Ed Schor, MD, senior vice president at the foundation."Families interact with multiple agencies on a regular basis, and they are well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of California's child health policies. Families also are the most effective advocates for their children. With additional training and support, more family members can make a real difference in how policy decisions are made."

A grant to the Sacramento-based California Health Report builds on previous funding to the nonprofit journalism project, which covers health and health policy. Funds will be used to expand in-depth coverage of state and national policy decisions that affect children, with a special focus on children with special needs.

The Kern County Public Health Services Department received support to develop a process of assessment and intervention to improve the transition from pediatric to adult health care for children in the California Children's Services program in the county. A successful model would be disseminated for use in transition planning in other California counties.

Public Counsel, a pro bono law firm, will undertake a project to collect and disseminate information on inequities in funding in the state's Regional Center network. The goal is to advocate for program and policy changes to address any racial and ethnic disparities in the provision of developmental disability services.

A grant to Stanford University is designed to increase research by pediatric faculty on the system of care for children and strengthen the capacity for research of the Division of General Pediatrics.

See details about each of the grants:


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 Stanford and the child health programs of Stanford University. 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.