CareSource Foundation Donates $218,000 to Cincinnati Children’s
Gift Supports Medical Center’s Efforts to Help Transition Teens Who Are Aging Out of Foster Care
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Cincinnati Children’s is proud to announce a $218,000 gift from the CareSource Foundation to support the development of a two-year pilot program. The program assists youth as they plan for independent living, preparing them as they identify a medical home and transition to independent health care utilization and health management.
Mary Greiner, M.D. and Sarah Beal, Ph.D., of Cincinnati Children’s, will oversee the pilot program designed to increase the use of primary care physicians and decrease urgent care visits. Cincinnati Children’s CHECK Foster Care Clinic and Transition Medicine Clinic will collaborate with community agencies to address the significant gap in health care and personal health knowledge for those in the program.
More than 12,000 children in Ohio are in foster care and 2,500 of them live in Hamilton County. Many are placed into care due to neglect, abuse or parental abandonment. Children in foster care are six times more likely to have developmental delays and between 30 and 80 percent of children in foster care have chronic medical problems that need consistent, coordinated care. While in foster care, these children have some access to health care, but many lose that support once they turn 18. Suddenly, these vulnerable young adults are left to navigate adult health care without guidance or an understanding of where to go to get the care needed. As a result, many young people who are alumni of the foster care system do not use health care appropriately and struggle to maintain their health, which can affect their abilities to remain in school, secure housing, and find and keep employment. While current preparation through independent living programs covers many of the things youth need to succeed as adults, health care has historically not been part of that training.
“With programs like the CHECK Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s, we’re doing a better job of coordinating the health care of children while they are in foster care,” Dr. Greiner stated. “But there is a real and immediate need to focus attention on teens to help them understand their health care needs and empower them to take control of their health and well-being before they leave foster care.”
Cincinnati Children’s proposed this pilot program that builds on existing networks to address the critical health care needs of teens aging out of foster care. “The timing is perfect for our community to build this health care support network from the ground up,” says Dr. Greiner. “With this generous gift from the CareSource Foundation, we hope to help vulnerable teens aging out of foster care become engaged and in control of their health care, in turn helping them gain a strong foothold as they enter adulthood.”
The CareSource Foundation agreed and took hold of this opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of foster children in our community. “We are pleased to fund Cincinnati Children’s for the CHECK Foster Care Clinic and Transition Medicine Clinic. This program is fundamental for foster children emancipated from care and will someday likely serve as a model program for foster youth programs across the country,” said Cathy Ponitz, Executive Director, CareSource Foundation.
Cincinnati Children’s is proud to partner with the CareSource Foundation for this important work. “This gift from the CareSource Foundation will empower us to help youth in foster care have a healthier and, ultimately, more successful transition out of foster care,” says Dr. Greiner. “It’s a significant contribution and we’re thrilled to have the CareSource Foundation as a partner in this work.”
About Cincinnati Children’s
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News & World Report’s 2014 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org. Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.