Our state's coordinated care organizations are coming together in new ways to provide better health for the people they serve. This week I want to share a story about what's happening in Coos Bay in the Western Oregon Advance Health CCO. They are doing amazing work for Oregon's foster children.
When a child goes into foster care, the new foster parents are required to get an assessment of their physical, mental, and developmental health within 30 days. Trying to coordinate all those doctors' visits in one month can be difficult.
Now, foster families in the Coos Bay area can come to the FEARsome clinic, which is housed within the Waterfall Community Health Center. At FEARsome, children can receive screenings from a dentist, a mental health therapist, and a pediatrician all under one roof. Children under age 3 also receive a developmental screening. Foster parents get training on how to access the childrens' portable medical summary so they can maintain the medical log required of them by the Oregon Department of Human Services.
"It is called FEARsome because we believe our foster parents are fearsome in their advocacy for their foster children," says Carla McKelvey, M.D., pediatrician at North Bend Medical Center in Coos Bay and a member of the Oregon Health Policy Board. "It's also called FEARsome because foster children need to learn how to be fearsome by gaining in self-esteem and self-confidence. We want kids to be strong and ready to face the world."
McKelvey created the clinic as a way to coordinate and expedite what was fragmented care for children in foster care. The clinic is now part of, and will have the support of, the Western Oregon Advanced Health coordinated care organization. So far, the clinic has served some 60 patients since it opened last May. Dr. McKelvey says the next step for the FEARsome clinic is to add a school representative so that there is coordination and collaboration for children.
This is a great example of the type of work happening across Oregon. Read more about this new clinic and other news from the coordinated care organizations.