More than 150,000 children in Iowa have special health care needs including:
- chronic conditions, like asthma and diabetes
- developmental or behavioral disorders, like autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- complex health issues, like spina bifida or cerebral palsy
A “system of care” approach recognizes the importance of family, school, and community and promotes the full potential of every child by addressing their physical, emotional, cultural, and social needs.
Using this approach, we focus on a child’s total health and well-being. This includes prevention, assessment, early intervention, care coordination, and family-to-family support.
Child Health Specialty Clinics (CHSC) is a community-based, public health agency with a network of regional centers and satellite locations across Iowa. Through a longstanding relationship with CHSC, part of Iowa’s statewide title V public health system, we build on the system of care to ensure the very best treatments and resources for children with special health care needs. CHSC provides gap-filling clinical services – services that do not fall under primary care – including telehealth appointments, to connect families with pediatric specialists in psychiatry, genetics, neurology, and nutrition.
We collaborate with primary care providers throughout Iowa to treat children with mild to moderate emotional and behavioral health challenges within their medical home through the Child and Youth Psychiatric Consult Project of Iowa.
We also work with the Iowa Department of Public Health to support primary care providers in the early detection of social-emotional and developmental delays in Iowa children 0-5 years old through the Iowa’s 1st Five Health Mental Development Program.
Iowa Child Health Connections is an online resource for parents of children with special health care needs, their families, and the providers that care for them.