A new partnership between Parents as Teachers and CoxHealth has a parent educator working alongside medical providers in a Springfield doctors’ office.
Brandi Saxton, manager of CoxHealth’s Northside Pediatrics Clinic where the educator, Amanda Coleman, is located, says the purpose is to improve outcomes for children that may have some developmental delays.
Coleman works at the clinic on Mondays and Fridays and conducts developmental screenings on 18-month-olds and three-year-olds.
It’s important, she said, to intervene early if a child is having problems.
"The earlier you can intervene and provide support to families, the better off it is for that child when they're starting to transition to kindergarten," said Coleman.
The benefit of the partnership, according to Coleman, is being able to give real-time screenings that both the families and the doctors can use.
"By doing those screenings, if there are any developmental concerns, we can be on top of addressing that with the doctor but then also getting them (families) community resources if they're in need of it," said Coleman.
And she hopes to create greater awareness of Parents as Teachers so more families will enroll and benefit from their services.
The partnership is funded with a Health Tomorrows Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Coleman hopes it will eventually serve as a model for the rest of the state.