HHS Awards $4.9M to Support Families with Special Needs - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

HHS Awards $4.9M to Support Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs


UNDATED (HRSA) -- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $4.9 million in new and continuing grants to support the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, primarily non-profit organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs. Funding for the centers was extended through 2012 by the Affordable Care Act.

Created in 2005, the centers are state-wide, family-led organizations that provide information, education, training, outreach, and peer support to families of children and youth with special health care needs and the professionals who serve them.

"In the last year, the work of these Family to Family Health Information Centers has had a real impact on the families, and community and state systems that serve them," said Secretary Sebelius.  "After working with these Centers, more than 90 percent of the families surveyed,  reported they were helped in finding or navigating community services for their children with special health care needs."

The Family-to-Family Health Information Centers are staffed by trained family leaders who have children with special health care needs, and expertise in navigating federal, state and local public and private health care systems. These Centers are also staffed by and/or linked with health professionals. HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) oversees the program.

"More than 900,000 families of children with special health care needs were served at Centers in the past year," said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. "And over 400,000 providers and other professionals were able to benefit from their services, making invaluable information regarding the needs of these children more widely available than ever before."

Since the program's inception, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers have served hundreds of thousands of families and health care providers. Today's funding will support 51 centers, of which six are newly HRSA-supported (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and Oregon). Each grant award is up to $95,700 per year.

For more information on the program, and other HRSA maternal and child health programs, visit http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/.  For additional information on the Affordable Care Act, visit http://www.healthcare.gov/index.html.

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