The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) was awarded a three-year grant in 2008 from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The State Implementation Grants for Integrated Community Systems for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) grant seeks to improve barriers to systems of services that prevent Youth with Special Health Care Needs (YSHCN) and their families/caregivers from successfully transitioning to all aspects of adulthood, including health care, work and independence.
One aspect of the grant was for an outside evaluator to review the in-house evaluation activities, conduct additional evaluation activities and report qualitatively and quantitatively on progresses made. CERC was hired to evaluate the success of the initiative.
CERC determined the appropriate success metrics and evaluation tools for each of the overarching goals and complementary objectives of the grant. We also converted the Medical Home Family Survey into an online survey tool as a way of increasing and expanding responses. CERC then analyzed and summarized the results. Furthermore, CERC created and analyzed two additional online surveys: a Transition Survey, concerning youth transition needs, which were administered in both English and Spanish, and the Jumpstart-Young Adult Transition Survey, completed by young adults who participated in the DPH transition collaborative meetings, YSHCN focus groups, CT KASA meetings, and transition conferences and expos. Finally, CERC analyzed the assessment results from both the Interagency Collaborative on Care Coordination Transition meetings and the Pre and Post Care Coordination Meetings. CERC supplied DPH with an executive summary outlining key findings, appropriate for submission to HRSA, as well as a full technical report.
The department will continue its efforts to recruit more adult primary care practitioners to support the transition of YSHCN to adult medical homes. As DPH continues educating the community on the needs of transitioning youth, in time as the word spreads among the health care community, the providers will become more engaged. Another area that merits additional department resources concerns care coordination. Through these continued efforts, the department will be in a better position to achieve the new state performance measures as set in the federal block grant.