Building Connections to Build Better Care

Consortium Outreach
Monthly E-Newsletter of the Massachusetts Consortium for Children with Special Health Care Needs


In This Issue

ISSUE ALERT: Behavioral Health Assessment

Pediatric Residency Training and CSHCN

"Is Your Child Different?"

Next Meeting

January, 2009
Date, Topic and Location TBA

Issue Alert

EOHHS Teleconference on the Massachusetts Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Tool
November 21

Beginning November 30, 2008, MassHealth and
the MassHealth Managed Care Entities (MCEs) will require a uniform behavioral health assessment process for members under the age
of 21 that includes a comprehensive needs assessment using the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) tool.

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) invites behavioral health providers and other interested parties to join a statewide conference call on the Massachusetts CANS tool on Friday, November 21, 2008, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Registration is not necessary. 

During this call, Jack Simons, Assistant Director of the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative, Carol Gyurina, Director of Analyst and Contracting, MassHealth Behavioral Health, and other Commonwealth staff will provide key information about the CANS tool, including
steps clinicians must
take to complete CANS training and certification and activities provider organizations must undertake in order to enroll in the Virtual Gateway. New and clarifying information regarding CANS requirements and release of the IT application on the Virtual Gateway will also be provided. Questions will be taken during this call.

CBHI CANS Conference Call Information

Date:November 21, 2008
Time:12:00 - 1:00
Phone: 866-565-6580 Passcode:9593452
(then press #)

EOHHS welcomes continued input from all stakeholders and interested parties on the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI).  Individuals and organizations unable to participate in this teleconference are encouraged to e-mail questions and comments to: [email protected] .

In the Spotlight:
Laurie Glader, MD

Laurie Glader, MD (Photo: LSO)

The Consortium congratulates Dr. Laurie Glader on her recent honors from Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and the Longwood Symphony Orchestra. 
Dr. Glader, a physician in the Complex Care Service at Children's Hospital Boston and an active member of the Consortium, was lauded as "a constant source of knowledge, skill, care,
and assistance to all families affected by SMA."

Photo: Longwood Symphony Orchestra

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November, 2008

Dear Consortium Members and Friends,

Welcome to the November issue of Consortium Outreach, our new, monthly
e-newsletter to keep you updated on all the Consortium's activities. 

We regrettably said farewell this month to Linda Freeman, our Director of Family Initiatives and the Family-Professional Partners Institute. As we reported last month, the Institute's activities have been discontinued due to 
a lack of funding, and that included funding to sustain Linda's position. She is and will be missed.

With an historic presidential election earlier this month, there is hope in the air for better days ahead. The president-elect's health care and child advocacy plans promise health insurance for every child, an expansion of Medicaid and SCHIP, enhanced opportunities for youth with disabilities, the coordination and integration of care through "medical home type models," and support for independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities.

Only time will tell the extent to which these plans will be implemented. For now, it's rewarding to see the Consortium's agenda for Massachusetts reflected on a national level.

In the meantime, I am pleased to report the following updates on Consortium projects:

Pediatric Residency Training and CSHCN

Preparing for Practice
For every child to have a medical home, every pediatrician has to bring knowledge of family-centered care and CSHCN to clinical practice.

As a first step toward this ideal, the Consortium's Medical Home Work Group and the Massachusetts Chapter of the AAP's Committee on Disabilities have released Preparing for Practice: Addressing Special Health Care Needs in Pediatric Residency Programs. 

This new publication describes a 2006-2007 study supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which looked at what and how pediatric residents are taught about topics related to the care of children with special health needs. Faculty and residents at Massachusetts' five pediatric residency programs were interviewed about:

  • Family-Centered Care
  • Communicating with Families
  • Medical Home
  • Coordinating Care
  • Advocacy and Financing

Findings are presented along with corresponding topical requirements for residency training programs from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Click on the image for more information and a free, downloadable copy.

"Is Your Child Different?"

Is Your Child DifferentNavigating the health care system can be challenging for any family raising a child with special health care needs. Families from immigrant and linguistic minority communities often face additional obstacles to finding the services their children need.

Opening Doors for Children & Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs is a research and training project focused on giving young people from underserved communities a better future. As part of Opening Doors, the Consortium has produced an informational brochure with significant input from a parent advisory group.  Every element of Is Your Child Different? was determined by their collective experience.

Currently, English and Chinese versions of the brochure are available, along with a summary of the development process intended to help other communities replicate this publication. 

Click on the image for more information and free downloads.

Chris Fluet
Executive Director
Massachusetts Consortium for Children with Special Health Care Needs