May 1, 2020
Contact:  Glenn Gabbard

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Family Voices Receives $1 Million to Support Telehealth for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has awarded $1 million to Family Voices to increase telehealth access and infrastructure for families and providers to help prevent and respond to COVID-19. The funds will increase capability, capacity and access to family engaged telehealth for families of children and youth with special health care needs.

“This new funding will help expand telehealth infrastructure that is already being used during the pandemic to provide essential care, especially to the most vulnerable, including pregnant women and children with special health care needs,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Grounded in the strength of its national network of 59 Family-to-Family Health Information Centers and affiliated organizations, Family Voices is deeply committed to a vision that every family should have a voice in their child’s health care.   The Family Voices network provides support, education, training and technical assistance to families and professionals in every state, five territories and to three tribal communities. Among other goals, this funding will be used to expand telehealth services for families of children with special health care needs through trainings for families, providers, and national family organizations on accessing telehealth, including for routine care and services not typically delivered in this way.

“Families of children and youth with special health care needs are an especially resilient and resourceful group of people; however, the pandemic response has presented a unique set of challenges that have really threatened their health and well-being,”  according to Family Voices Executive Director, Nora Wells.  “Collaborating closely with the other grantees, we look forward to assuring that ongoing telehealth strategies truly support families’ individualized healthcare goals and priorities. We believe that family engaged telehealth can be a powerful tool to support high-quality, accessible care, regardless of the location, culture and ethnicity, and income status of families being served.”

Family Voices’ award is part of a panel of grants totaling $15 million. Together, the four awards support key areas in maternal and child health: pediatric care, maternal health care, state public health systems and family engagement for children with special health care needs.  Family Voices will reach out to each of the other grantees to discuss the most effective ways to support family engaged telehealth, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP);  the Association of Maternal and child Health Programs (AMCHP);  and the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education, Science and Practice at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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Our Vision

With families at the center of health care, all children and youth reach their full potential and health disparities are eliminated.

Our Mission

Family Voices is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families—including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.

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