Extra! Extra! Read All About Youth Health Care in Two Special Newsletters

Health issues edition of newsletter for community collaborative organizations

From 1998 to 2000, the Institute for Educational Leadership produced two issue briefs on health topics printed as special editions of a newsletter targeted at community collaborative action organizations.

These organizations have increased in number and importance as the locus of responsibility for social policy initiatives has shifted from the federal government to the states and their local community jurisdictions and agencies in recent years.

The Washington-based Institute for Educational Leadership in a nonprofit working to achieve better education and futures for all of America's children and youth.

Key Results

  • The first issue brief, "Focus on Health" (summer 1999), is organized into two parts:
    • Part one discusses opportunities within both Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for improving children's medical services.

      It describes specific steps that community collaboratives can take in assisting states and localities to expand Medicaid and CHIP enrollment and to design and implement effective CHIP programs. Collaboratives may:
      • Develop connections and lines of communication with their state's CHIP oversight and planning committee.
      • Become familiar with how both Medicaid and CHIP programs are structured in their state.
      • Emphasize the value of programs such as CHIP and Medicaid as employment supports for working parents, not as "welfare."
      • Identify and join forces with other groups advocating for more family-friendly enrollment policies and procedures.
    • Part two focuses on how community collaboratives can ensure that health care programs affecting children and families are of high quality and that additional supports and services necessary for effective medical care are readily available.

      It presents five core "action areas" essential to creating a comprehensive health care system and addresses strategies for working with health professionals and managed care organizations. The five areas are:
      • Instituting results-based accountability of health care programs.
      • Establishing a baseline community health assessment.
      • Organizing service and supports to meet families' comprehensive needs.
      • Designing and implementing professional development and training, including cross-training.
      • Identifying and tapping into available financing to enhance the responsiveness of health care systems.
  • The second issue brief, "Focus on Behavioral Health" (spring 2000), contains a discussion of the critical trends in child and youth behavioral health care, including:
    • The role of parental involvement in policy and service planning.
    • The importance of prevention and early intervention.
    • The emergence of managed care and other financing approaches.
    • The inclusion of schools in the care of children and youth with emotional disturbances.

Both issue briefs include action checklists, lists of resources, and profiles of best-practice applications.

The newsletter through which the issue briefs were published is called The Community Agenda. It is a joint activity of two Washington-based, state-community policy organizations:

The Center for the Study of Social Policy and the Together We Can distributed over 12,000 copies of each special issue to community collaboratives in the United States as well as other interested organizations and individuals.

This project received additional support from the federal Office of Maternal and Child Health, Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The Center for the Study of Social Policy and the Together We Can are seeking funds to resume publication of the newsletter, which was suspended for lack of funding after the spring 2000 issue.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $23,927.