Tag Archives: family-centered care

Increasing Medical Home Access

For nearly four years, Family Voices Colorado has served as a subcontractor with the Colorado  Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to assess and support a wide range of health care practices in becoming certified as medical homes.

A medical home is not a residential facility; it’s not even a building. Rather, it is an approach to health care that is comprehensive, coordinated, family- and patient-centered, accessible, and committed to quality and safety. (Learn more at the Colorado Medical Home Initiative.)

Sounds ideal, right? Like what you’d look for in a primary care office, regardless of your age or level of health care needs? And while every provider seeks to do their best in providing the kind of care that patients and families deserve, the medical home certification process helps by identifying specific benchmarks and practices that improve the quality of care and the patient experience, assessing both staff and family perspectives on how well those benchmarks are currently implemented, and then supporting the clinic or office or hospital department in taking steps to improve in areas that are assessed less positively.

Since 2009, Family Voices Colorado has helped certify more than 2,000 practices, from private family and pediatric practices to school-based clinics, federally qualified health centers, mental health providers, and more. In the course of that work, our staff have met tens of thousands families and thousands of providers; conducted and analyzed close to 32,000 family surveys and 20,000 staff surveys; and traveled more than 30,000 miles across the state!

Now that our contract has ended, we are moving into different approaches to our ongoing work of increasing access to and quality of health care for all children, especially those with special health care needs. Without wanting to be too mysterious, we’re not quite at liberty to describe the details of these new programs yet, but keep an eye out for some announcements in the next month or two!

Susana Herrera and Suzette Elledge, two of Family Voices Colorado's Medical Home certification staff
Susana Herrera and Suzette Elledge, two of Family Voices Colorado’s Medical Home certification staff

Tremendous thanks go to Suzette Elledge, our Medical Home Project Coordinator; Susana Herrera, Medical Home Navigator; Colleen Roahrig, Western Slope Coordinator; and other staff who have supported the program over the years. Together, they have helped make sure that more children across the state – both those with special health care needs and those with typical needs – have access to a medical home, which leads to both cost savings and improved health outcomes. Thank you for your commitment to this important work!

Some of our favorite people

Chris Rampley behind Mitch McKinney, Allison Blakely Rampley behind Lauren Blakely
Chris Rampley and Allison Blakely Rampley behind Mitch McKinney and Lauren Blakely. Allison is Lauren’s sister.

Each month, the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) features individuals with disabilities, family members, and professionals who work in disability services or advocacy. The stories are inspiring examples of people who overcome obstacles, speak up for others, and work for a world in which disability is not a barrier to living life to the fullest.

February’s featured members are Lauren Blakely and Mitch McKinney, a committed and loving young couple who happen to both have Cerebral Palsy. Lauren is the oldest daughter of Christy Blakely, former Executive Director of Family Voices Colorado. Their words of wisdom include:

When asked if there was anything they wanted to share with the CCDC membership the message was simple.  “Don’t be afraid to dream big because it can work.”

Sam Murillo, Family Navigator
Sam Murillo, Family Navigator

CCDC previously featured Sam Murillo, one of our own Family Navigators, as their November person of the month. Sam’s experience as a family member and caregiver to his two brothers with disabilities deeply informs his work with families at Children’s Hospital Colorado and in the community. You can read Sam’s profile at this link: Sam Murillo – CCDC Feature Nov 2012, or by scrolling down on CCDC’s Featured Members page.