09/28/10 — $500,000 grant will help track care for children

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$500,000 grant will help track care for children

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 28, 2010 1:46 PM

Dr. Dave Tayloe of Goldsboro Pediatrics wants to establish a way to track children and youths with special health care needs and to make sure they are getting the appropriate services.

And now he will have a half million dollars to turn that desire into reality.

"We know that kids who have asthma miss more school ... kids with ADD have poorer outcomes than other kids, children with developmental disabilities need a lot of support as they go through school," Tayloe said. "And the support these families need -- they're an extremely economically draining factor. Whatever we can do to support them, I think, is important."

So when he learned there was grant money available, he immediately coordinated a plan with Wayne County Health Director James Roosen for writing the application. The efforts paid off, as the county was recently notified it was the recipient of a $500,000 Innovative Approach grant -- $250,000 a year for two years -- from the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs program in the Department of Health and Human Services.

"We have the right people in the right places to do this," Tayloe said. "We have sort of a Camelot situation here because we are the only pediatric practice, so we do not step on other doctors' toes when we organize the community around Goldsboro Pediatrics."

His practice, which has grown to four offices and is also affiliated with the school district's six WISH -- school-based health centers -- has an electronic health records system with a database of information about children in Wayne County.

Tayloe said his vision is to create a registry he can use to help improve the system of care, involving not only school nurses and educators, but parents and other local agencies.

"Our goal is to improve communication among the various health and human services professionals who provide services for these children and their families, so everyone in the county is on the same page with regards to assuring optimal outcomes for these children," he said.

On the surface, it looks like a pretty simple, straightforward grant.

But Tayloe said it essentially pertains to about 15 percent or more of children in a county.

Fortunately, the grant gives "a lot of latitude" on how to go about serving that population, he said.

"What we haven't found time to do at Goldsboro Pediatrics is establish a registry for these children where every child that needs extra services is being tracked to make sure they're coming in for their regular visits, shots, etc., " he said. "It's a very tough group of kids to get your arms around."

In-house, efforts have been going on for several months. The $250,000 a year to put a system in place will be very beneficial in organizing the information, Taylor said.

"We also have an interest in things in North Carolina where through Medicaid, better known as Community Care of N.C., the state pays for us to have care coordinators in the office," he said. "Juanita Larkins, an RN, has been working for us for 10 or more years and is paid by the state. She's a real star, she speaks Spanish and deals with the language barrier, helping with Medicaid questions."

The funding will also allow Goldsboro Pediatrics to expand its technology, adding a server with more memory so that all the school nurses can access the electronic health records.

The "Intranet" system will allow ease of communication between agencies and improve coordination of care, Tayloe explained.

The Health Department is also committed to the project, he added. In addition to the technology piece, Roosen has indicated plans to hire a coordinator for the two-year effort.

"She'll be overseeing the whole thing," Tayloe explained. "We have two years to get ourselves better organized and then we'll be on our own. But we can sustain this also because of all the in-kind support we have."

Down the road, Tayloe said he also envisions creating a Family Advisory Committee, pulling families together to meet on a regular basis to discuss services provided and what more is needed.