Integrative care for maternal and child health

The first years of a child’s life are crucial in setting the stage for ongoing health and well-being into adulthood. In particular, the first two years of life involve important screening and anticipatory guidance for development, healthy active living, injury prevention and immunization. In our area, the shortage of primary care providers continues to result in an increasing number of newborns and infants who do not have regular access to primary health-care and who instead access health services at urgent care, emergency departments and walk-in settings for illness management. 

The Well Baby Care Clinic, which opened in 2023, ensures that newborn babies in our community who do not have a primary care provider have access to prenatal services, well-baby checks, and immunizations. We’re delighted to report that this clinic has received funding to continue providing services through 2024.

Preventative care and disease screening

Preventing disease is far simpler than treating conditions once they have started. That’s why we’re working on prevention pathways with our partners in primary, specialty and other levels of care to identify risk factors such as high blood pressure and detect diseases like diabetes and cancer early when treatment options are likely to be more successful – all in an effort to stave off chronic disease and improve people’s health outcomes. These pathways will reach all parts of our community, making it easier for people to manage their health at home while improving the health of our population. Stay tuned for more details on how to access these pathways!

Integrated care pathways for chronic disease

For people with chronic disease, integrated care pathways serve as a foundation for advancing population health and are integral to how we will enhance population health by preventing and managing chronic diseases. This year we will connect providers in primary care, our three hospitals, specialty clinics, home care, community paramedics, pharmacists and others in the FLA OHT, creating a common pathway to manage two prevalent chronic diseases – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure – throughout the patient journey. . These pathways will start before people enter a hospital and provide evidence-based, best-practice integrated care guidelines for each step of their journey through their primary care encounters, to their stay in hospital and their ongoing care in the community once they return home. This approach emphasizes preventative care and early chronic disease management and helps our OHT partners work together as a team to provide integrated, wrap-around care to the people we serve, while ensuing individuals are accessing care before they become severely ill.