District of Columbia

 How the District of Columbia is implementing Bright Futures

Learning collaborative: The DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (DCAAP) has partnered with Children’s National Health System and more than 25 child-serving organizations in the District of Columbia to create the DC Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care. The goals of this collaborative are to help DC pediatric health providers build mental health screening into their practice workflows and address any identified patient needs. Participating practices will engage in Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles and receive free mental health screening resources like the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social–Emotional Starter Kit and the AAP Mental Health Toolkit. Practices will also receive onsite support from mental health and quality improvement coaches and participate in monthly conference calls where colleagues can share solutions and best practices. Participating practices can earn up to 30 hours of continuing medical education credit. Since December 2014, 15 practices representing 142 providers have participated in the learning collaborative. DCAAP has received funding to launch a second cohort in early 2015.

Educational session: In 2012, DCAAP hosted an educational session on developmental screening attended by approximately 50 providers. The chapter partnered with school-based health officials and nurses for the event and distributed free Ages and Stages Questionnaire Starter Kits to attending practitioners. The session also included developmental screening training. Because of the relatively small size of DCAAP’s coverage, most attendees were notified of the event through email or personal contacts. Since then, however, the chapter has begun taking advantage of online outreach methods, including Facebook and Twitter, to announce events like educational symposia or Webinars. The chapter has even worked with a technology and communications consulting company to revamp its Web site and evaluate its communications strategy. These efforts have resulted in an improved public image and increased success in obtaining grant funding.

Partnerships: DCAAP has worked with a number of organizations in its efforts to implement Bright Futures practices. As part of its mental health learning collaborative, for instance, the chapter worked with the DC Department of Health (DOH) to successfully advocate for funds from the DC City Council. These funds will go toward creating a Child Psychiatry Access program that is similar to the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program; the program will provide guidance to pediatricians on patients’ mental health issues. DOH also supported the chapter’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program, including a Vaccination Congress in spring 2014 that brought together pediatricians and City Council members to develop plans to improve HPV vaccination rates.

In addition, the chapter has formed several working groups with community organizations. The most active of these is the Adolescent Health Workgroup that was formed in 2012. Members include representatives from nonprofit organizations that focus on HIV and pregnancy prevention; these organizations have typically worked in parallel but, through this group, now have an opportunity to work together. More recently, the chapter launched an Immigrant Health Committee tasked with increasing the understanding of health, legal, educational, and social issues of immigrant children and families among pediatricians and other professionals involved in their care.


DCAAP Chapter

For more information about maternal and child health activities in your state, visit the Health Resources and Services Administration's Web site to find local contact information for the Maternal and Child Health and Children With Special Health Care Needs representatives.