Stead Family Department of Pediatrics- Child Health Specialty Clinics

  • About the Division

    The Division of Child and Community Health focuses on child health: prevention, early intervention, quality improvement and metrics, and health policy. Promoting health today requires consideration of the overall status of children, not just identification and treatment of specific diseases or injuries.

    What does "children's health" mean?

    Health is historically viewed as the absence of disease or premature mortality. Today, most health care providers agree that definitions of health should incorporate both disease prevention and health promotion views that embrace positive aspects of health. Building on views of health expressed at the 1986 Ottawa Charter, the committee recommends a new definition of health:

    Children's health should be defined as the extent to which an individual child or groups of children are able or enabled to: a) develop and realize their potential; b) satisfy their needs; and c) develop the capacities that allow them to interact successfully with their biological, physical, and social environments.  

    What does "community pediatrics" mean?

    Community pediatrics is the practice of promoting and integrating the positive social, cultural, and environmental influences on children’s health as well as addressing potential negative effects that deter optimal child health and development within a community. 

    Community pediatrics includes all of the following: 

    • A perspective that expands the pediatrician’s focus from one child to the well-being of all children in the community;
    • A recognition that family, educational, social, cultural, spiritual, economic, environmental, and political forces affect the health and functioning of children;
    • A synthesis of clinical practice and public health principles to promote the health of all children within the context of the family, school, and community; and
    • A commitment to collaborate with community partners to advocate for and provide quality services equitably for all children.

    Center for Child Health Improvement and Innovation

    The center exists to provide the UI community with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to be the best qualified child healthcare providers, through the integration of policy, clinical practice, and quality improvement. The center will concentrate on population child health, addressing the most urgent challenges facing children and families (i.e. children with special health care needs, mental health, and childhood obesity) and health system performance and management.

    The center has three goals:

    • GOAL 1: UI Center for Health Improvement and Innovation will be a leader in health system integration and a strong partner with community-based systems of services.
    • GOAL 2: UI Center for Health Improvement and Innovation will be an effective advocate for health improvement at the state and national level.
    • GOAL 3: UI Center for Health Improvement and Innovation will be a leading entity in developing UIHC’s e-health capabilities.

    In order to achieve a well-functioning, well-coordinated and integrated system of services the focus areas will be: Advocacy, Service, Quality, and Innovation. Essential to the system design of the care model for child health will be: incorporation of families’ voice and choice into decisions that affect the health and well-being of children; collaboration with other child health stakeholders; utilization of the science of improvement methodology; and adoption of a model for spread.

    Child Health Specialty Clinics

    Child Health Specialty Clinics (CHSC) is a family-centered, community-based public health program that serves Iowa children and youth with special health care needs from birth to 21 years old. CHSC partners with families, service providers, communities, and policy makers along with the Iowa Departments of Human Service, Public Health, and Education. CHSC administers Iowa’s Title V program for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), which ensures that all CYSHCN receive services in a family-centered, coordinated, community-based, comprehensive System of Care.

    A System of Care is an approach to services that recognizes the importance of family, school, and community, and seeks to promote the full potential of every child and youth by addressing their physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural, and social needs. CHSC has four main components to its System of Care for CYSHCN: clinical services; care coordination; family support; and infrastructure building.

    CHSC is a network of 13 regional centers located in communities across Iowa. CHSC employs public health professionals and clinical providers that work with communities to build local partnerships, improve coordination of services, and promote optimal child health.

    There are an estimated 144,000 children and youth in Iowa who have a special health care need. Special needs include chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, and emotional issues. These needs may impact the family, as well as require the involvement of multiple service systems including health, education, human services, child care, and juvenile justice.

    CHSC has extensive experience providing gap-filling health care services and influencing the development of community-based, family-centered service systems. CHSC has a legacy of collaboration across multiple agencies and partners in Iowa and possesses the leadership and competency to conduct needs assessments, to provide technical assistance, training, and education, and to evaluate programs for CYSHCN.

    CHSC administers several special programs in collaboration with state agencies, service providers, and other University of Iowa departments. Among these programs are Early ACCESS, Community Circle of Care, the Child and Youth Psychiatric Project of Iowa, the Health and Disease Management Program, the Nutrition Services Program, and the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program.

    CHSC participates in research projects supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services including: Health Resources and Services Administration; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and National Institutes of Health. Recent projects include: a study on behavioral interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and an impact study to determine the effects of environmental toxins on the neurocognitive development of Iowa infants and toddlers.

     Division Contact Information

    University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics
    Child and Community Health
    247 Center for Diabilities and Development
    100 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, IA 52242

    Phone: (319) 384-6674

    Division Support Staff