The Medical Home Initiative addresses the special needs of poor, medically underserved children and families living in some of the most disadvantaged areas across the country both rural and urban, including Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Newark, New Jersey.
In rural areas, shortages in the numbers of health care providers and the lower population density, mean that families must travel longer distances to access health care. Nearly 25% of the American public, 70 million people, live in rural areas, yet only 10% of the nation's physicians practice in these areas. One in five children living in families at or below the poverty level is unable to access routine medical care because of a lack of transportation resources, and 75% of families in rural areas do not have public transportation available to travel to medical facilities. This Initiative ensures that a “medical home” – comprehensive, culturally appropriate, coordinated primary care – is provided to some of the most isolated U.S. populations.
In 2007, Children's Health Fund (CHF)'s National Network provided over 40,000 medical encounters to children and parents in sparsely settled rural areas of Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Idaho. The Arkansas Children’s Health Project serves children living in extreme rural isolation in a three-county region in eastern Arkansas. The Mississippi Children’s Health Project is located in the state’s Delta region, where the population consists largely of African American families. The West Virginia Children’s Health Project serves Appalachian families living in the extremely isolated southwestern region of the state. All of the projects are within Federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. In 2009, the New Jersey Children's Health Project will join this important initiative.
Children’s Health Fund believes every child should receive health care in a medical home setting and supports and develops programs that provide health care to isolated, poor, and vulnerable populations that do not traditionally have access to quality health care. The Medical Home Initiative ensures delivery of comprehensive primary care, including age-appropriate immunizations, early identification and management of chronic illness, including asthma, childhood overweight, and health education. It also assists these participating Children’s Health Projects in case management, and enhances their Electronic Health Records capacity.
In addition to supporting direct patient services, the Initiative helps CHF continue critical public policy efforts addressing barriers to a medical home for poor children living in remote areas.
The Medical Home Initiative is a Partnership between sanofi-aventis and the Children’s Health Fund.