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New Grants Take Many Approaches to Better Health Care for Children with Complex Conditions

PALO ALTO – Improving pediatric hospital discharge practices and easing the transition of youth with special health care needs to adult health care are the goals of two of four grants awarded recently by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Two other grants focus on better access to pediatric specialty care and more equitable purchase of services at California’s Regional Centers. 

“Our overall goal is to improve the systems of care on which children with complex conditions and their families depend,” said Edward Schor, MD, foundation senior vice president. “These grants build on previous awards made by our foundation, and each represents a next step in addressing a significant aspect of the systems of care.”  

The new grants: 

Discharge Standards: Building on pediatric hospital discharge standards previously developed with foundation support, staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are leading a learning collaborative of nurse-led teams in California children’s hospitals to pilot adoption of those standards and create tools and guides for potential use by other hospitals. This supplementary grant will provide funds to ensure an interdisciplinary approach to this work, which will help facilitate adoption of the standards, improve their quality, and bolster their spread to children’s hospitals throughout the country. 

Transition to Adult Care: A 2015 grant to the Kern County Public Health Services Department funded work to develop and test an approach to assess the readiness of adolescents with special health care needs to move from pediatric to adult health care and to improve the availability and quality of transition services. More than 500 adolescents have been assessed and received follow-up services to ease their transition. This new grant will make it possible to administer follow-up assessments.

Access to Specialty Care: Collaboration between California’s Specialty Care Coalition and the American Academy of Pediatrics has the potential to improve access and quality of care for children with special health care needs. This small grant supported a joint strategic planning meeting in which leaders from both organizations discussed pediatric specialty care priorities and developed an action plan to work together on meaningful system improvements.   

Regional Center Service Disparities: Public Counsel used a foundation grant to investigate possible racial and ethnic disparities in services provided to children and youth with developmental disabilities who are served by California Regional Centers. The project found large differences in the distribution of authorized services. This new grant will allow researchers to gather and analyze recently published data and produce an updated report that will be disseminated widely to inspire necessary action. 




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.