There is a strong link between health and well-being early in life, and health and well-being later in life. That’s why HealthPartners is working to improve the health and well-being of children from pregnancy through adolescence by concentrating on 10 areas of focus known as our Children’s Health Initiative.
This long-term initiative includes the following areas of focus:
- Play, talk, read, sing encourages every caregiver to “exercise” their child’s developing brain by playing, talking, reading and singing. As part of this work, all children 6 months to 5 years old receive a book at every well-child visit through the Reach Out & Read program. We also have moved the messaging “upstream” by providing expecting mothers a book and information at their OB visit.
- Social Emotional Development identifies and refers children with social/emotional and developmental delays to the appropriate resources. All children from 2 months to 5 years are screened for delays at regular intervals during well-child visits. Older children at well child visits are also universally screened for social/emotional concerns.
- Healthy Beginnings promotes drug, alcohol and tobacco free pregnancies by universally screening all pregnant women and offering non-judgmental support.
- Breastfeeding Promotion encourages mothers to feed their babies only human milk for at least the first six months of life by offering support and resources to patients, members and employees.
- Postpartum Depression adds depression screening to the list of preventive services for expecting and new mothers at their OB visits as well as their infant’s well-child visits.
- Standard Workflows support long-term health goals for children and families by aligning evidence-based guidelines, clinical tools and measurement across the organization.
- Adolescent Health works to develop clinical standards for talking to adolescents about sexual health, pregnancy prevention and other important adolescent well-being topics, along with making long-term birth control methods more easily accessible.
- Family & Community Connections expands access and partnerships with community programs to support families that are most at-risk.
- Reducing Disparities works to identify and reduce racial and economic disparities in maternal and child health.