Miller Children’s Receives Healthy Tomorrows Grant, Names New Physician Champion for Unique California Transition of Care Program

LONG BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach received a five-year,
$250,000 grant from the Healthy
Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program
. The Healthy Tomorrows
Partnership for Children Program is a cooperative agreement between the
federal Maternal
and Child Health Bureau
and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Out of 64 applicants nationwide, Miller Children’s was one of eight to
be awarded this one-of-a-kind federal grant to improve the health status
of mothers, infants, children and adolescents by adding components to
Miller Children’s Transition of Care Program.

“We were honored to be awarded this grant; it will fund exciting new
initiatives for our program,” says Erika Jewel, LCSW, transition
coordinator, Transition of Care Program, Miller Children’s.

In 2012, with seed funding from the Memorial Medical Center Foundation,
followed by a three-year grant from the Unihealth Foundation, Miller
Children’s officially launched its Transition of Care Program. The
program eases the transition from the pediatric to adult health care
setting for young adult patients with chronic conditions. Shifting to an
adult health care setting is a complete change for young adults – not
only will they have a new set of physicians and care team members, but
they also will be faced with insurance changes, and the challenge of
learning to truly manage their condition independently at home and at
work, by making their own appointments and filling their own
prescriptions.

This unique work has launched The Bridge to a Healthy Tomorrow
Transition of Care Program, which will add new components to Miller
Children’s Transition of Care Program to help provide further education
and support to adolescents with special health needs. This project will
enlist a physician advisor to provide outreach to specialists in both
the pediatric specialty clinics and their counterparts in the adult
specialty field to create partnerships, develop transfer protocols, and
generally increase awareness and understanding of transition issues.
Stacey Epstein, M.D., has been named the physician advisor. The grant
also resulted in engaging more parent and youth representatives to
provide their perspectives.

“Transition services are provided through a team approach,” says Stacey
Epstein, M.D., physician advisor, Transition of Care Program, Miller
Children’s. “That makes it vital for health care providers on both the
pediatric and adult sides to have a clear understanding of their roles
and responsibilities to facilitate the patient’s successful transition.”

Increasing the use of technology to educate and communicate with
adolescent patients also is a major focus of this program. Deploying
communication tools that are more accepted by teens (like smartphone
applications and texting) and integrating social media into outreach and
education is a major goal of this program.

“We want to truly engage adolescent and young adult patients, and
technology is the way to do that,” says Jewell. “The more patients know
about their conditions, and the more prepared they are for the
differences that they will encounter in transitioning to adult care,
will lead to better health outcomes.”

Success of this grant will be measured by the number of patients who
successfully link to a new doctor in the adult health care system after
they leave Miller Children’s and their satisfaction with the program.

About Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach:

Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, part of the
MemorialCare Health System, provides specialized pediatric care for
children and young adults, with conditions ranging from common to
complex – as well as maternity care for expectant mothers – all under
one roof. Only five percent of all hospitals are children’s hospitals,
making them unique not only to children’s health care needs in the
community, but across the region. Miller Children’s is one of only eight
free-standing children’s hospitals in California – treating more than
14,000 children each year – and has become a regional pediatric
destination for more than 84,000 children, who need specialized care in
the outpatient specialty and satellite centers. Visit MillerChildrens.org,
like us on Facebook.com/MillerChildrensHospital,
follow us on Twitter
@MillerChildrens and on Instagram @MillerChildrens.

Contacts

for Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
Aaron
Bensoua
310-418-4389
aaron@finnpartners.com