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   MPHA Conference Roundtables

Addressing Health Disparities for Children in the Foster Care System: Evaluation Results of the Missoula Foster Child Health Program- Bart Kilka MSW, PhD

The number of children removed from the care of their biological parents and placed in the foster care system in Montana has risen over 100% in the last seven years. Most often as a result of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or physical/emotional neglect, these children enter the foster care system with significant health problem. Research shows that children in the foster care system have higher rates of physical health problems, dental issues, and mental health disorders compared to children not in the foster care system. In addition, children in foster care are prescribed psychotropic medications at nearly three times the rate of children not in foster care.

Addressing the complex health needs of children in the foster care system requires a coordinated effort among health professionals within a community. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) specifies standards of care for providing such services and underscores the necessity of timely and thorough assessment for foster children. To date, many programs exist nationally to provide physical, dental, and behavioral health services to children in the foster care system, yet few have undergone systematic and rigorous evaluation.

The Missoula Foster Child Health Program (MFCHP) is a tri-agency collaboration between the Missoula City-County Health Department, Child and Family Services, and Grant Creek Family Medicine (Foster Care Clinic) in Missoula County with the goal of addressing the physical, dental, and mental health needs of children in the foster care system. A hallmark of the MFCHP is the use of a public health home visiting nurse who provides home visitation to the child and foster family in an effort to assess the previous and current health concerns of the child and to make timely referrals for specialized assessment and care. An external evaluation of the MFCHP is currently being conducted by the University of Montana, School of Social Work.

After a brief introduction of the MFCHP history and essential program elements (i.e., team, care, system), this presentation will focus on the results of the external evaluation. Results include quantitative analysis of the health needs of children entering the MFCHP (e.g., physical health conditions, medical home utilization) and qualitative case-study analysis that highlights the multiple ways in which the MFCHP leads to improved health outcomes for children in the foster care system.

Active Living Every Day: Sustainability of a Program to Increase Physical Activity- April Keippel MA and TommiLee Gallup CHES

During the 2014 Community Health Needs Assessment, Yellowstone County residents were asked about their ability to meet the physical activity recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity in a week. A total of 42.1% of those surveyed stated they are able to meet those recommendations. Additionally, 26.9% of women and 20.0% of men in Yellowstone County reported no leisure time physical activity in the past month. These statistics continued to show the need for a lifestyle physical activity intervention.

The Healthy By Design Coalition in Yellowstone County, Montana, utilized the evidence-based Active Living Every Day program to promote lifestyle physical activity in our community. Active Living Every Day is a twelve week facilitated discussion course designed to build the skills needed to become active and stay active. The project was funded by a 5-year grant and engaged community organizations as host sites, facilitators, and promoters of the program. With funding ending, the Coalition began to explore ways to sustain the intervention. The presenters will share important lessons learned in the search for sustainability of programming.

The Power of Real Stories in Public Health Communication- Shannon Simon and Scott Drake

We have used Real Stories to move people to action, create movements, support legislation and reach Public Health goals for more than 10 years all across Montana.

From Trout Creek, Helena and the Urban Indian Center in Billings to Livingston, Lewistown, Wolf Point and Fort Peck, harnessing the emotion of real, local stories can be used to drive national Public Health-related stories, research and pop culture home in communities across the state – or to create your own unique messaging and powerful campaigns. We have done both and would like to share some proven techniques, tricks and tips with you.

Public Health Associate Program: What Associates Can Do for You and Success Stories in Montana- Maddie Barber BS and Hayley Mandeville MPH

Many health departments across Montana are understaffed and struggle to adequately address the health needs of their community. These health departments are striving to make an impact, while combating lack of available workforce in their communities. These communities and departments are in need of human resource support, but lack of funding prevents them from hiring additional, qualified staff. The goal of this presentation is to provide knowledge and insight on the Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) to health department representatives across the state of Montana. Maddie Barber, PHAP Associate at the Montana Department of Public Health, and Hayley Mandeville, PHAP Associate at Riverstone Health, will jointly provide an overview of PHAP and the host-site application process. Both Hayley and Maddie began at their host-site in October 2015. In addition, Maddie and Hayley will individually present on work experiences at their host sites thus far. As an example, Maddie will discuss upcoming state immunization activities for National Influenza Vaccination Week based on information collected from the Immunization Awareness Survey that was sent to immunization providers in January 2016. Hayley will discuss her experience as a Community Health Improvement Specialist, specifically access to health services and the process of public health accreditation. By doing so, it is the hope that other health departments across the state will be encouraged to apply to host a PHAP Associate and become informed about the work that PHAP Associates are participating in during the two-year program in Montana.

Climate Change and Public Health: What to Do? What to do? - Robert Byron MD, MPH

Climate change is having an increasing impact on everyone, including Montanans. Following up on a presentation at the 2015 MPHA Annual Conference that addressed the impacts of climate change on public health, this presentation will address actions that public health entities and individuals can take to both mitigate climate change and help prepare for its consequences.

 

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