Carilion Clinic has been selected as one of six regional networks in Virginia to facilitate efforts to ensure that local children with special health care needs have access to optimally effective, community-based medical and support services. Called Care Connection for Children, special services include increased access to medical specialty care as well as assistance with obtaining health insurance, accessing area resources and determining eligibility for outside funds.
According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), children with special health care needs are children “who have or are at risk of a chronic physical condition that requires health care of a type and amount not usually required by children of the same age.”
“We are so excited that we were selected to help administer this important program in our area,” says Alice Ackerman, M.D., chief pediatric officer and chair of Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital. “We are passionate about children’s health care needs and Care Connection for Children is a natural fit for us. We look forward to making a difference in our community.”
To be eligible for the service, children must be Virginia residents, under 21 years of age, have special needs (as defined by VDH).
Since 1936, the Virginia Department of Health has been an advocate for children with special health care needs. In 1998, a comprehensive assessment was completed and through a federal block grant, VDH expanded its responsibility and became a “change agent to improve systems that care for these children.”