Community Partners

Early care and education settings; Help Me Grow affiliates; family service agencies; Women, Infant, and Children programs; parent support groups; child advocacy groups; Head Start programs; and community mental health agencies are just a few examples of the types of organizations that participate in children's health promotion initiatives at the local level.

As partners in a Bright Futures implementation project, community-based organizations can

  • Provide resources such as meeting places, funded programs to address local needs, or staff
  • Identify needed intervention services and programs to which providers can refer patients
  • Increase awareness of Bright Futures
  • Make connections to families and advocates
Community-based organizations play an important part in Bright Futures implementation efforts. They often link parents to appropriate referrals, and in some cases these organizations provide the needed service directly (eg, mental health, parent support). When community organizations interact with families, they can increase awareness of family resources and other resources to support active involvement in their children's well-child visits.

 Building State Partnerships

Maine: Started in 2003 with Child Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act funds, the Maine Child Health Improvement Partnership is run by Quality Counts and includes the Medicaid agency, public health departments, the local AAP chapter, and parents. This partnership has resulted in Bright Futures-related work, including an update to the state Medicaid forms to align with Bright Futures recommendations and the development of the First STEPS learning initiative, which offers developmental screening regional training sessions for primary care practices to improve developmental and autism screening. The mission of the partnership is to improve the health of the state's children using public–private partnerships to initiate and support measurement-based efforts to enhance children's health care. Learn more

Vermont: In 2000, the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program, one of the first of its kind in the country was created to improve the health of Vermont's children and youth. A unique aspect of this project was the inclusion of health plans. In addition to the state Medicaid agency and the Vermont Department of Health, collaborators include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP, and Cigna Health Services. From the beginning, the health plan providers were willing to focus on improving adolescent health in the state, a need with which everyone agreed.

The Vermont Chapter of the AAP, the Department of Health, and VCHIP organized a "roadshow" that traveled to 12 regions in the state to teach physicians, nurse practitioners, early child care and education professionals, and public health providers about Bright Futures. The AAP chapter distributed the Bright Futures Guidelines and Bright Futures Pocket Guides to all roadshow audiences. The meetings included an overview of Bright Futures, a discussion on preventive services, the public health's perspective on children, and the Vermont Chapter's role in the partnership, as well as a discussion about how preventive services can be adapted to the unique situations in each community. The use of Bright Futures to provide a common language and a united approach across services was also discussed. Learn more