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Project DOCC (modified for interdisciplinary trainees)

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

Project DOCC (Delivery of Chronic Care) is a curriculum developed by parents whose goal is to inform physicians about the challenges faced by families that have children with chronic health conditions and disabilities. Project DOCC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to use the experience of family caregivers and adult patients to enhance health care practice and inform more responsive policies so that individuals with chronic illness and disability (and their families) have the services needed to live successfully in the community.

Project DOCC was initially adopted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) several years ago. The curriculum was first initiated when a faculty Developmental Pediatrician and a parent whose child was receiving MMI services attended a presentation on the program at a national conference. Upon their return, MMI faculty and staff deliberated and decided to purchase the curriculum. Parent participants were identified and went through the extensive Project DOCC training of trainers (a key goal being that the core values of the curriculum be presented to fidelity).

Project DOCC is conducted as part of the Pediatrics Resident rotation at MMI. The resident training is made of up three components: the Chronic Illness History interview, where the Resident interviews the parent trainer using the provided questionnaire; a home visit, where two training parents discuss the day-to-day issues of caring for a child with these challenges, including the specific experiences of the host family; and a Ground Rounds panel presentation (at UNMC, this is conducted as part of the Department of Pediatrics noon conference series).

Since its inception, Project DOCC has consistently received positive evaluations from not only the participants at UNMC, but from across the network of Project DOCC sites based on their reports.  Recognizing the value of the program, our LEND faculty and staff adapted and incorporated the same training components to fit into the LEND curriculum. Time is set aside for trainees to conduct the Chronic Illness History interview with parent trainers during seminars and also to conduct home visits. It concludes with a noon lunch conference / panel presentation to discuss the process, answer questions, and offer feedback on the program.

Briefly describe the positive impacts this activity has had on trainees.

Many of our trainees have found that Project DOCC provides them with a first-hand perspective of what families with a child living with a chronic illness or disability deal with on a daily basis in that it takes them out of the clinic and into the home. Parent trainers, for example, open cupboards that are completely filled with medication and durable medical equipment just as they open their lives to the residents and trainees. Trainees report that they have gained valuable insight as to the challenges that families face and surmount in caring for their child and that they are better informed as to how to deliver compassionate, quality care to the individual and family.

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