Wednesday, Sep 13, 2023

Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network awarded HRSA Healthy Tomorrows grant to help patients transition from pediatric to adult care

The Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network has received a $250,000 grant that will help ensure smoother transitions for children and teenagers moving from pediatric to adult healthcare services.

The Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), amounting to $50,000 annually over five years, will fund the appointment of a transitions coordinator who will augment an existing team that consists of a registered nurse care navigator and a community health navigator. Their role will be pivotal in guiding adolescents through their healthcare journey, aiding them in securing primary and subspecialty care as they mature into adulthood.

“For our region to thrive, we need to build on our existing foundation of world-class children’s care,” said Chris Jett, chief executive officer of the Niswonger Children’s Network. "This grant will facilitate quality, accessible healthcare for those transitioning from pediatric to adult care, meeting the needs of patients both within and beyond clinic walls, while working hand-in-hand with community navigators who will connect patients to a variety of community-based resources to support needs such as food, transportation, housing and employment.”

“We're bolstering our coordinated approach and executing a sustainable plan that will guide teenagers who need ongoing care from pediatric to adult services,” said Tara Chadwell, assistant vice president of child health programs at the Niswonger Children’s Network. “By establishing robust resources, we're securing strong, healthy futures for our youth and working now to ensure stable and reliable support systems.”

The grant will assist young adults like Travis, who has severe cognitive impairment and has been working with a community health navigator. This resource helped Travis' mother, Beth, secure housing, therapy and behavioral health services. As an adult who now requires regular subspecialty care, Travis will be among the first to benefit from the new coordinator's support in transitioning to adult care.

“Knowing there's a dedicated professional to guide Travis through his healthcare journey, ensuring a seamless transition from pediatric to adult care, is immensely reassuring,” Beth said. “It’s not just about securing resources, but also about fostering a sense of continuity and consistency in Travis’ care – we are thankful for this initiative, which exemplifies Ballad Health’s commitment to securing strong futures for children.”

The HRSA Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program grant and transitions coordinator align with Ballad Health’s STRONG initiatives, supporting a shared regional vision to ensure all children have strong starts in life, preparing them for long-term success.

To discover more about resources for children at any stage of development, visit https://www.balladhealth.org/pediatrics/niswonger-childrens-network.

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