SOURCE: National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality

National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality

April 16, 2009 12:00 ET

The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality to Advance Pediatric Quality Improvement in Partnership With the New York State Department of Health

Quality Improvement Efforts to Focus on School Based Health Centers, and Neonatal and Asthma Outcomes

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - April 16, 2009) - The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) today announced an expanded partnership with the New York State Department of Health to advance quality improvement in children's healthcare. The expanded partnership includes a contract for school based health centers, and a combined contract for neonatal and asthma initiatives.

As part of the school base health center contract, NICHQ will work with New York State to further enhance clinical quality in the state's school based health centers. New York has 219 school based health centers, which provide primary care and are a major safety net provider especially for underserved children and youth. This project will initially work with 50 of the health centers around the state, plus Health Department staff based in Albany, NY, on enhancing care through comprehensive physical exams; asthma care; and the prevention and treatment of obesity.

"As school based health center practitioners and their supporting organizations -- typically hospitals and federally qualified health centers -- take their improvement skills to the next level in these areas, we expect to see an enhancement in their processes and care delivery generally," said Marilyn Kacica MD, MPH, Medical Director of the Division of Family Health, New York State Department of Health. "We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with NICHQ and have their expertise guiding this exciting new project."

Additionally, the New York State Department of Health, along with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in partnership with NICHQ, continues efforts on the neonatal outcomes improvement project, an innovative initiative designed to build state infrastructure in supporting neonatal quality improvement initiatives. Specifically this project will (1) improve newborn and maternal outcomes; (2) reduce healthcare costs; and (3) establish capabilities within the state for ongoing quality improvement/transformation. Clinical teams will focus on ten interventions beginning with maternal high risk medical and behavioral conditions, through NICU care, and ultimately hospital discharge and infant follow-up care. Based on scientific evidence and expert consensus, the focus will be on reducing morbidity and mortality associated with premature birth. New York State is the second state to join NICHQ in this critically important effort, following Ohio, NICHQ's first state partner. NICHQ is in the process of adding additional states shortly.

NICHQ and New York State Department of Health are also preparing for their fourth year Jump-Start training for the New York State Asthma Outcomes Learning Network; this year's training to be based in Saratoga, NY. This two-day program trains healthcare leaders in applying the Model for Improvement as a method for improving the quality of care processes and outcomes within and across organizations serving children and their families. Jump-Start is part of New York's annual statewide 12-month asthma quality improvement initiative. This initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of asthma partner organizations to improve asthma care processes and outcomes for children in a variety of settings such as schools, school based health centers, primary care, hospitals and emergency departments, county health departments, and day-care centers. Since the beginning of this partnership, over 38 teams and 200 healthcare leaders from these organizations have participated in this initiative and 11 new teams will be trained this year. Once teams complete the initial 12-month program they continue to participate in the New York Asthma Outcomes Learning Network and work to sustain and spread their asthma interventions. Improvements in symptom free days, inhaled corticosteroid use among persistent asthmatics, use of asthma self-management plans, identification and remediation of environmental triggers and reductions in asthma urgent visits and emergency department visits have been achieved.

"We're so pleased to be working with the New York State Department of Health on these initiatives," said Charles Homer MD, MPH, President and CEO of NICHQ. "We are looking forward to spreading this model and expertise to many states to improve the quality of children's healthcare throughout the country."


Founded in 1999, the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is an action-oriented organization dedicated to achieving a world in which all children receive the healthcare they need. Led by experienced pediatric healthcare professionals, NICHQ's mission is to improve children's health by improving the systems responsible for the delivery of children's healthcare. For more information, visit

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