Tedd McDonald, senior researcher for the Center for Health Policy (CHP) and director of the Master of Health Science program, and Mark Siemon, researcher for the CHP and assistant professor in the School of Nursing, are principal investigators for the Maternal and Child Health Program Needs Assessment contract, sponsored by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
McDonald and Siemon, along with CHP Graduate Research Assistant Stephanie Lindsay, will identify needs for:
- preventive and primary care services for all pregnant women, mothers, and infants up to age one;
- preventive and primary care services for all children; and
- services for children with special health care needs, which includes children who have or are at increased risk for chronic, physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.
McDonald and Siemon will identify needs for these groups by engaging stakeholders; identifying how demographics, geography and other variables affect the health of the maternal and child health population in Idaho; examining the strengths and capacity of the services offered to mothers and children; developing an action plan; and assisting the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare selecting priorities, seeking resources, setting performance objectives, allocating resources, and monitoring progress.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare receives funding through the federal Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to provide quality health care to pregnant women, mothers, and children, particularly those with low-incomes, limited availability of care, and special health care needs. The federal block grant requires that states receiving funds conduct a state-wide needs assessment every five years. McDonald and Siemon will provide a report that the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare will include with their application for funding in July 2015.
McDonald states that “this assessment provides a wonderful opportunity for the Center for Health Policy to support the Maternal and Child Health Program in Idaho by identifying the most important areas for improvement in services to ensure healthy mothers, children, and families throughout the state.”