Project DOCC is a Major Component of the Nebraska LEND Program's Family-Centered Curriculum

April 15, 2014

 The Nebraska LEND (NE-LEND) Program has been using Project DOCC (Delivery of  Chronic Care) in their training program since 2003.  Project DOCC is a national  curriculum founded in 1994 by three mothers of children with disabilities utilizing  parents as teachers.  The program includes a structured home visit and a one-on-one  training session on history-taking and interview skills.  These activities offer a  perspective to students that faculty usually do not have; promote provider/patient  partnerships; and empower families.   Project DOCC is a recommended training activity by the National Medical Home Autism Initiative.

Project DOCC was initially used in the NE-LEND program to train Pediatric and Family Medicine residents and students to incorporate family-centered care principles into their care of children with chronic illness and neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.  With Combating Autism Act funding and the development of the NE-LEND Autism Leadership Academy in 2008, LEND faculty collaborated with the national Project DOCC organization to adapt this family-centered training program for use with allied health, education, and family trainees.  Since that time, over 25 parents have participated in the program, training 77 medical students and residents and 81 interdisciplinary students (including psychology, speech/language pathology, nursing, social work, nutrition, education/special education, physical therapy, health administration and family trainees). 

"The experience will help me become a more compassionate, family-centered physician. Observing the sacrifices parents make while caring for children with developmental disabilities was transformative in my thought process towards family oriented medicine. This program helped me understand what these families deal with on a daily basis," said Matthew Freeman, LEND trainee.   Project DOCC focuses on these issues and, by using parents as the teachers and the home as the classroom, broadens the faculty and clinical settings in which these important concepts can be taught.