News | Published December 7, 2011

Parents and Children with Special Health Care Needs Have Support Through Medical Home Approach

"As a parent of a child with special needs, your plate can become very full. As your health care provider, we are here to help your family," says Gwynne Decker, RN, BSN, medical home patient care coordinator at Mount Nittany Physician Group, Pediatrics.

"It begins when a family walks through the door. We are a medical home," says Decker. A medical home is not a place, but rather an approach. It is a teamwork approach to health care between the family and the physician, and team of caregivers.

Mount Nittany Physician Group is working hard to be part of the Pennsylvania Medical Home Initiative, known as EPIC-IC -- Educating Practices in Community-Integrated Care. EPIC-IC is a non-profit quality improvement program that works with pediatric practices in the state to help them implement the medical home concept.

Medical home is about developing a "plan of care." This includes not only medical records, but also information about services, and agencies within the community that can assist families with the many aspects of care of a child with special health care needs.

One example of how the medical home approach can assist a family is connecting them with the Elks Nurses, a non-profit group that will help families fill out complicated forms, or serve as an advocate in the school setting at Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings with teachers.

Robert Huffard, MD, pediatrician, Mount Nittany Physician Group says, "We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this program. Feel free to call me, or Gwynne Decker, at 814.466.7921 to discuss the program further."

For more information visit the Pennsylvania Medical Home Initiative website at Click on "Parents" to join the "Especially for Parents" web community.