Earlier this year, Children’s Health Fund launched a new partnership with The Center for Rural Health Innovation (CRHI). To help introduce CRHI to the CHF audience, we conducted a brief Q&A with Amanda Martin, Executive Director and Dr. Steve North, Founder & Medical Director, as well as Children’s Health Fund CEO Dennis Walto to share more about the relationship and work.
Why is Children’s Health Fund expanding into North Carolina?
DW: The areas of North Carolina that are serviced by our partner The Center for Rural Health Innovation meet all of the key criteria for a Children’s Health Fund affiliate – this includes being an area of high need, a Medical Director with a track record of excellence and a well established and mission-aligned community partner.
Why are The Center for Rural Health Innovation and Children’s Health Fund partnering? What makes the partnership ideal?
CRHI: CRHI has been an innovator in the area of school health since 2011. As an early adopter of telehealth technology – specifically in the area of school health – we have pioneered the effective and efficient use of this modality to deliver services to kids, not letting location be a barrier. This is the same thing that many CHF partners have done over the years, we are simply the next innovation!
DW: The Center is uniquely positioned to both learn from the national network and also contribute to our community of practice and body of knowledge that will improve our clinical and programming impact.
Can you provide some background on The Center for Rural Health Innovation?
CRHI: CRHI created, implemented and had been running the Health-e-Schools School-based Telehealth program in rural western North Carolina since 2011 and is an independent 510(c)(3) non-profit which is not affiliated with a university or hospital system. The Health-e-Schools program has been largely grant funded by federal, state and private foundation funders. In addition to the Health-e-Schools program, we have taken on a leadership role as the national voice for high quality school based telehealth programs. We share our knowledge through speaking engagements, webinars, consulting contracts and collaborative efforts with like-minded programs across the country.
How is this different than a traditional Children’s Health Fund Program?
DW: The new partnership with the CRHI is part of our evolving affiliate designation known as an Innovation Partners. Innovation Partners are organizations or individuals doing something unique and different that are of benefit to driving our mission forward. Our relationship with a the Center brings CHF and our network a Tele-Health Expert who is building tele-health capacity at several of our clinical partner programs.
What can we expect to see from this partnership?
DW: Tele-Health is an increasingly important service delivery platform and mental health is rapidly adopting tele-health strategies to reach at risk children – and we are at the table in utilizing this innovative practice to scale up our reach and impact.
CRHI: Across the country, programs that serve at-risk children are under constant pressure to meet rising needs with decreasing public funds. We bring the knowledge of how to use tele-health to expand services and increase reach to a group of established programs that constantly seek to innovate, to stay ahead of the need. We are excited to benefit from the collective knowledge of the Children’s Health Fund National Network and Partners, while also helping them learn and grow.
To learn more about The Center for Rural Health Innovation, you can visit them online at http://www.crhi.org.
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