Partnership Spotlight: Iowa's UCEDD and Title V CYSHCN Program

December 7, 2017

The Iowa UCEDD has a long history of collaboration with the Child Health Specialty Clinics (CHSC), which administers Iowa's Title V Maternal and Child Health Program for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health. Being co-located for many years has enabled the UCEDD and CHSC to forge formal and informal partnerships from collaborating on grants to convening informal brown bag lunches to discuss emerging state and federal policy issues.

Several CHSC staff members serve as discipline directors for Iowa's LEND program, which operates as part of the UCEDD. Last year the LEND program created a family trainee position in partnership with CHSC because of their expertise in, and commitment to family engagement, which includes a long history of employing family navigators across the state. This year LEND added a self-advocate trainee position, and the UCEDD staff member serving as the training director for that position has begun collaborating with the family trainee director to explore how they can better coordinate the support they provide to the trainees and expand the scope of that opportunity in the future.

Through the Regional Autism Assistance Program, CHSC provides Family Navigator consults to patients and their families being seen at the Center for Disabilities and Development, particularly those receiving a new diagnosis of autism. Additionally, the UCEDD and CHSC collaborated for several years on a campus suicide prevention grant that allowed them to teach Mental Health First Aid to University of Iowa students, staff, and faculty. Most recently staff from the two organizations have been working on planning a collaborative project that will use photojournalism to collect and share the stories of individuals with disabilities and their families across the state of Iowa.

Both CHSC and the UCEDD invite staff from the other organization to participate on internal advisory and planning groups which allows the two organizations to both leverage the areas of common focus, and also build upon, support, and learn from the areas of expertise that are distinct.