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Next Steps: A Practitioner's Guide For Themed Follow-up Visits For Their Patients to Achieve a Healthy Weight
Next Steps: A Practitioner's Guide For Themed Follow-up
Visits For Their Patients to Achieve a Healthy Weight

Success Stories

Ultimately, the work that we do boils down to stories, inspiring narratives about the challenges faced, successes achieved, and lessons learned by the people working hard every day to improve children's healthcare.  We invite you to read on...

4 Tips for Sustaining the Success of a QI Project
July 2014

Successful quality improvement efforts aspire to be sustainable: having the new ways of working become the normal ways of working for the team, organization, systems or facility. However, sustainability does not happen automatically; it requires planning and ongoing effort. Read Story >>

Staff Mirrors Healthy Habits it Teaches Kids for Greater Emphasis
July 2014

By inspiring staff members to adopt the healthy eating and exercise habits they teach to patients, Fitchburg Community Health Connections aims to have a greater influence on the community’s overall health. Read Story >>

Tips for Recruiting Physician Champions for Improvement Projects
June 2014

Clinically-based improvement teams can benefit from having a physician champion on board. The physician champion plays a crucial role when it comes time to make the case for other physicians to support an improvement idea. Read Story >>

Preventing Tooth Decay in Children Through Quality Improvement
June 2014

With an increase in sugary drink options, the practice of offering juice at bedtime, less fluoride exposure and other changes, tooth decay rates in children under the age of 5 have jumped in recent years. Read Story >>

Worksheet Helps Professionals See Patients as People First
May 2014

A patient should always be seen as more than a cluster of symptoms. For patients with special healthcare needs, a holistic view is even more critical. Read Story >>

5 Steps to Becoming a Local Health Policy Advocate
May 2014

Ask most healthcare professionals—from the pediatrician to their administrative assistant—why they choose the field of healthcare and they will inevitable say it was because they have a passion for helping people. Read Story >>

The Power of a Phone Call: Following Up on Sickle Cell Disease
April 2014

Because patients with sickle cell disease benefit from early treatment, newborn screening for the condition is mandatory in the US. Despite this, many get lost in the system: some families don’t get the results of screening; others don’t understand them or don’t follow up for a variety of reasons. Read Story >>

Setting Goals with Families Leads to Greater Success
April 2014

As any business book will tell you, getting team members onboard with a project is best accomplished by integrating them in all aspects of the work—including the goal setting process. This principle is certainly true in healthcare. Read Story >>

Care Teams Better Support Patients, Pediatric Practices
March 2014
Pediatric practices in NICHQ’s CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home Project, have been working to establish care teams within their practices to better support coordinated care. The impact, especially for children with complex healthcare needs, has been visible. Read Story >>

4 Essential Elements for a Quality Improvement Culture
March 2014
For those looking to establish a quality improvement culture within their organization, it's essential to make sure these four essential elements are in place. Read Story >>

Fathers Hold Key to Breastfeeding Success
March 2014

A mother's commitment to breastfeed frequently hinges on the opinion of someone often overlooked in breastfeeding education—the baby's father. Read Story >>

Why I Participate: By Kisha Greenidge-Kader
February 2014
In NICHQ’s work on improving hearing screening across the country, administrators and audiologists work closely with parents to direct and sustain improvements. A mother and advocate shares her story. Read Story >>

When the ER Can’t Hear You: Tips and Transition Tools for Families with Sickle Cell Disease
January 2014
Many patients with sickle cell disease do not receive timely care at the ER because practitioners don’t understand the disease or suspect patients of drug-seeking behavior. What’s a parent to do? Read Story >>

Big Changes in Texas: Competitive Hospitals Work Together to Improve Breastfeeding Across the State
December 2013
In this Q&A, Erin Hamilton-Spence, MD, discusses her experiences as a passionate breastfeeding advocate, the President of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, and an advisor for the Dallas-area birthing centers in the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Learning Collaborative. Read Story >>

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Ziva Mann
December 2013
An advocate and mother of a child with hemophilia, Ziva Mann shares her story on the importance of a medical home and how partnering with healthcare professionals helped a practice achieve improvements. Read Story >>

Wait Times for Autism Services Cut in Half without Adding Staff
December 2013
With coaching from an external expert on access to care, teams found ways to significantly reduce waiting times by applying quality improvement methods to collect wait time data and make informed changes based on the information. The two hospitals participating in this work made notable progress. Read Story >>

How and Why to Include the Patient Perspective
November 2013
Time and time again, both patients and healthcare partners have told NICHQ that the experience of working together on a quality improvement team is invaluable for both sides. Here are some tips and tools on how to engage with patient representatives and apply patient knowledge to your improvement efforts. Read Story >>

Leadership Engagement Is Critical to the Success of Improvement Efforts
November 2013
There’s no easy way around it: change is hard, and resistance to change comes in many forms. Regardless of the type of opposition, teams working on everything from breastfeeding support to sickle cell disease are finding ways to ensure leadership commitment to help overcome organizational resistance. Read Story >>

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Lindsay Fonseca
November 2013
Lindsay Fonseca, a mother of four, shares her personal experience of breastfeeding and story of advocacy as a Parent Partner in the Best Fed Beginnings project. Read Story >>

The Seven “R”s to Transforming a Medical Practice into a Medical Home
October 2013
A national movement has begun to shift healthcare into a family-and-patient-centered medical home model. The philosophy is about delivering services that truly serve the patient by making healthcare more equitable, accessible, culturally relevant, coordinated, preventative and efficient. In this Q&A with Jennifer Lail, MD, learn about what practices can start to do to make the transition. Read Story >>

Paying for Formula Puts Hospitals in Control
October 2013
It seems like a no brainer. Formula companies should be happy to have hospitals say no to freebies and insist on paying for formula. But hospitals seeking to improve breastfeeding rates have found the opposite to be true: formula companies are threatened by the potential loss of exposure for their brands in maternity units. This has made it particularly challenging for hospitals intent on paying for formula, an evidence-based tactic to improve breastfeeding rates. 
Read Story >>

How to Help Your Patients Connect with Community Resources
October 2013
Many things outside of a doctor’s office can negatively affect health. Patient health can be impeded by issues such as struggles with housing and bills, lack of support for breastfeeding or exercise, or confusion about how to navigate the healthcare system. Building relationships with community organizations can be a huge boon to healthcare practices and their patients. Read Story >>

Overcoming Confusion and Misinformation About a Life-Saving Drug
September 2013
For the past seven years, Patricia Kavanagh, MD, who specializes in pediatric care at Boston Medical Center, participated in a camp that catered to children with sickle cell disease and other serious diseases. In the last few years, she has noticed a drastic difference: children are appropriate sizes and have more energy. Read Story >>

How to Build an Effective Team for Quality Improvement Work
September 2013
Whatever health advocacy or quality improvement (QI) work you’re doing, chances are you aren’t embarking on the challenge alone. From fighting obesity in the community to campaigning for policy makers to make public health improvements, building an effective team is often the first step toward making a difference. Read Story >>

Dental Care Takes on New Role in Traditional Medical Care Settings
September 2013
Many general and specialty medical clinics for treating children and young adults are putting an increased value on oral healthcare. The focus is having a positive effect on patient outcomes across the health spectrum. Read Story >>

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Olga Cappas
August 2013
A mother partner in NICHQ’s medical home project explains her role and path to advocacy to improve healthcare for children with and without special needs (also available in Spanish).
Read Story >>

Don’t Cry as Pacifiers Go Bye-Bye
August 2013
Hospitals around the country are purging pacifiers as they work toward creating environments that better support breastfeeding. Read how two hospitals were able to successfully toss the artificial teats. Read Story >>

Nevada Sees Improved Hearing Screening of Infants
August 2013
A hearing screening effort in Nevada is paying off: more babies are accounted for through the Improving Hearing Screening and Intervention Systems (IHSIS) program. Read Story >>

Insomnia Treatment Plan Helps Daughter with Autism
August 2013
Nights are more peaceful in the Belleza-Binns household now that Mia, 7, is sleeping continuously in her own bed. Learn about the success of testing an insomnia treatment plan for children with autism. Read Story >>

Confronting Cultural Barriers to Breastfeeding
July 2013
Breastfeeding advocate and project faculty Kimarie Bugg, MSN, MPH, discusses some of the cultural obstacles many families face in regards to breastfeeding. Read Story >>

Community Art Tackles Community Health
July 2013
A new community-made mural that reinforces healthy lifestyles while reflecting the community’s unique cultural and economic realities is driving family discussions about nutrition and physical activity in Somerville, Mass. Read Story >>

Cultural Competency and the Medical Home
July 2013
Pediatric medical practices in the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home Initiative are partnering with patients and families to ensure providers are delivering culturally sensitive, appropriate care. Read Story >>

Leaving the Pediatric Cocoon
July 2013
Teams in NICHQ’s Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) project are piloting the first set of sickle cell disease-specific guidelines designed to assist pediatric providers in preparing their patients to move to adult providers. Read Story >>

Not Just Recordkeeping: Electronic Medical Records Are Improving Services
June 2013
In the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home Initiative, electronic medical records are helping pediatric practices accelerate service delivery, reduce errors and keep patients informed. Read Story >>

Why I Participate: By Parent Chair Trang Neimetz
June 2013
The parent chair for the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative shares her personal story of facing challenges with breastfeeding and what led her to advocate for improved breastfeeding support for families. Read Story >>

Brother Advocates for Change in Sickle Cell Disease Care
June 2013
Dennis McCullum is an outspoken advocate for sickle cell disease, which took his brother when they were children. Through the Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) project, he is finding new ways to help others talk about pain leading to improved care. Read Story >>

Key to Autism Access Answer Lives in Community Physicians
June 2013
Donna Murray, senior director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, shares how teams in the Collaborative to Improve Care for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder project are making strides in addressing access issues. Read Story >>

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Wendy Hewitt
May 2013
When her son Ruger did not pass his newborn hearing screening test, Wendy Hewitt was sent through a complex maze of specialists to get her son the care he needed. Now, 11 years later, Hewitt is an active parent advocate and parent partner in NICHQ’s Improving Hearing Screening & Intervention Systems project. Read Story >>

How Texas is Tackling Low Breastfeeding Rates
May 2013
Longtime breastfeeding advocate and faculty advisor to NICHQ’s Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative, Pamela Berens, MD, discusses what the Lone Star State is doing to help more moms breastfeed. Read Story >>

Outgrowing Pediatrics Without the Growing Pains
May 2013
Pediatric medical practices in the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home Initiative are starting early to help adolescents—along with their parents and new doctors—make smooth transitions to adult care. Read Story >>

Slow and Steady Breastfeeding Education Wins Over Moms
May 2013
Hospitals in the Best Fed Beginnings initiative are educating moms on breastfeeding and providing support in three stages: during pregnancy, in the hospital and after discharge. The result: higher breastfeeding rates. Read Story >>

Goodbye Nursery, Hello Rooming-in
April 2013
Hospitals participating in the Best Fed Beginnings initiative are moving away from traditional nurseries and keeping mothers and babies together 24 hours a day, a practice known as “rooming-in.” One hospital went from 10 percent to 100 percent rooming-in in less than a year. Read Story >>

Patient ‘Navigators’ Help Manage Care and Overcome Social Obstacles for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease
April 2013
The Colorado team in the Working to Improve Sickle C ell Healthcare (WISCH) project has developed a patient navigator program to help patients with sickle cell disease find primary care physicians and overcome social obstacles that interfere with healthcare. Read Story >>

Reshaping the Obesity Discussion
April 2013
Motivational interviewing (MI), a counseling approach first used to treat people with alcoholism and substance abuse, is now finding practical application in helping to combat obesity. Robert Schwartz, MD, a faculty advisor to NICHQ’s Mass in Motion Kids project, discusses how providers can use MI to engage patients in healthy behavior change. Read Story >>

Putting Insomnia to Bed for Children with Autism
April 2013
The Toronto team in NICHQ’s Collaborative to Improve Care for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is working to educate families of children with autism on the best ways to reduce insomnia. Read Story >>

Why I Participate: Parent Partner Tonya Bowman
March 2013
Nearly 18 months after Tonya Bowman gave birth prematurely, her daughter, Jasmyn, was diagnosed with hearing loss. Thus began Tonya’s journey to becoming a professional parent advocate and a parent partner in NICHQ’s Improving Hearing & Intervention Systems project. Read Story >>

Practices Improve Constipation Treatment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
March 2013
As participants in NICHQ’s Collaborative to Improve Care for Children with Autism, the quality improvement team at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles has made important gains in developing a treatment plan for addressing constipation in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Read Story >>

How One Hospital Dramatically Increased Breastfeeding Rates
February 2013
Stony Brook University Hospital raised its exclusive breastfeeding rates from 10 percent to 40 percent by overcoming two essential hurdles: leadership and staff buy-in. The hospital’s new goal is to reach 60 percent. Read Story >>

Sustaining Improvements in Hearing Screening
February 2013
Wisconsin’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program Director Elizabeth Seeliger, MD, found that her state used to struggle with changing its complex system. But after participating in NICHQ’s first hearing screening improvement project six years ago, she has become a devoted quality improvement advocate. Read Story >>

Technology Improves Sickle Cell Disease Care Beyond the Clinic
February 2013
From text reminders to self-monitoring pill bottles, healthcare providers in the Working to Improve Sickle Cell Healthcare (WISCH) project are using technology to improve care for patients with sickle cell disease when they leave the doctor’s office. Read Story >>

Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact Boosts Breastfeeding Rates
January 2013
Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital is one of 89 hospitals participating in Best Fed Beginnings to help improve their maternity care and achieve Baby-Friendly Designation. As part of the project, they are working to fulfill the World Health Organization's 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and one of the steps is helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth. Read Story >>

Mom Chats and Letters from Kids: Wyoming Team Provides Support to Families with Hearing Loss
January 2013
In Wyoming, a vast state with a population of only about 550,000, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program faces a challenge particular to rural areas: families whose children are diagnosed with hearing loss sometimes have a hard time getting the support they need. Read Story >>

Q&A with Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, NICHQ Faculty Member and President of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana
December 2012
Dr. Ohene-Frempong, the Director Emeritus of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, talks with NICHQ about the importance of sickle cell screening and disparities between the US and abroad. Read Story >>

Transitioning Into a Patient-Centered Medical Home
December 2012
With a year under their belts as part of the CHIPRA Massachusetts Medical Home Initiative, 13 pediatric practices are transforming their offices into patient-centered medical homes. Read Story>>

Texting to Help Families with Sickle Cell Disease
November 2012
A quality improvement team in Missouri checks in remotely and in-person to help children with the blood disorder. Read Story >>

Q&A with Dr. Dan Coury, Faculty Chair of NICHQ’s Improving Autism Collaborative
November 2012
Dr. Coury discusses how working closely with families can improve systems that deliver care for children with autism. Read Story >>

States See Improvement in Infant Hearing Screening and Follow-Up
October 2012
States across the country are improving diagnosis, early intervention (EI) services and support for families with infants who have hearing loss through NICHQ’s Improving Hearing Screening and Intervention Systems (IHSIS) project. Read Story >>

Kids Who Can't Wait to Eat Greens
September 2012
During NICHQ's Be Our Voice childhood obesity project, the team from Brewton, AL, worked to bring generations together through a common cause: gardening. Read Story >>

Q&A with Lynnie Reid, passionate champion for people living with Sickle Cell Disease
September 2012
Lynnie Reid went from being a young mother who knew nothing about sickle cell disease to becoming a passionate champion for people affected by the blood disorder. Read Story >>

Treating Pain More Quickly for Children with Sickle Cell Disease at BMC
September 2012
Healthcare providers at the Boston Medical Center (BMC) have slashed in half the time it takes to deliver pain medications to sickle cell patients seeking help in the pediatric emergency department (ED), and they did it in just over a year. Read Story >>

Best Fed Beginnings: Helping Hospitals Support Breastfeeding
August 2012
The largest birthing facility in Rhode Island—and one of the largest in the country—is aiming to become “Baby Friendly” through participation in NICHQ's Best Fed Beginnings initiative.  Read Story >>

Q&A with Dr. Lori Feldman-Winters
August 2012
The Faculty Chair of NICHQ’s Best Fed Beginnings initiative discusses why breastfeeding is important and why hospitals find it challenging to fully support. Read Story >>

Parents Help Revamp Autism Treatment Center
July 2012
In Portland, Oregon, a “Family Advisory Committee” helps autism specialists deliver more accessible care. Read Story >>

Reflections on Childhood Obesity in Mississippi
July 2012
Dr. Gerri Cannon Smith is uniquely positioned to comment on the declining rates of childhood obesity in Mississippi and the role that the Be Our Voice project may have played. Read Story >>

New Tennessee Center Offers Affordable Care to Sickle Cell Patients
June 2012
A team of healthcare specialists is working to coordinate care, reduce ER visits, and spread awareness. Read Story >>

Kentucky Be Our Voice Team Continues to Fuel a Statewide Movement
May 2012
In 2009 Kentucky was one of 8 sites chosen to participate in Phase 1 of Be Our Voice. Now, the team and its trained advocates have become a powerful local force that is affecting state politics and healthcare. Read Story >>

The Power of Collaboration
April 2012
Pediatric practices work together to transform into medical homes. Read Story >>

Cristin Lind’s Story
February 2012
A Parent Partner for the Massachusetts Medical Home Initiative finds a professional calling in advocacy for children with special needs. Read Story >>

Bringing the Parent's Perspective to Quality Improvement
October 2011
Janet DesGeorges is a professional parent. Read Story >>

Read More

  • Stories from the Collaborate for Healthy Weight project
  • Stories from the Be Our Voice project

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