Implementation: The Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is increasing awareness of the Bright Futures Guidelines among its providers through outreach and education. The 1st Five Program is a combined effort of the Iowa Chapter, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Child Health Specialty Clinics. The program encourages primary care providers and pediatricians to screen for social–emotional and developmental delays in children from birth to age 5 as recommended in the Bright Futures Guidelines. It also works with providers to ensure that children and families identified by screening have access to the referrals, interventions, and follow-ups they need.
Training: As part of the 1st Five Program, medical consultants travel to practices to conduct learning sessions that address the importance of screening and introduce related tools. The sessions are for both doctors and staff members to ensure that the entire office is engaged in practice transformation. The 1st Five consultants visit Title V agencies to increase awareness of the initiative and help staff learn how to “speak the language” of social–emotional and developmental screening. This effort facilitates the relationships needed for referrals and interventions. The 1st Five consultants provide technical assistance to local Title V agencies that coordinate 1st Five care to foster partnerships with medical providers.
To maximize the program's reach, the Iowa Chapter is developing a social media presence that includes infographics on processes and tools, Twitter and Facebook posts that offer useful information and resources, and videos on the impact of developmental screening on life course outcomes. An outreach strategy that leverages social media is especially important in Iowa, where both families and health care professionals may be in rural areas that make in-person meetings difficult.