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HHS announces availability of $3.9 million to support families of children with special health care needs

Posted Oct 25 2010 10:01pm

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $3.9 million in funding to continue support for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, non-profit organizations run by families and for families with children with special health care needs.  Funding for the centers was extended through 2012 by the Affordable Care Act.

Created in 2005, Family-to-Family Information Centers provide information, education, training, outreach, and peer support to families of children and youth with special health care needs and the professionals who serve them. The centers are operated by family leaders who have children with special health care needs and expertise in federal and state public and private health care systems, as well as by health professionals. HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) oversees the program.

“These centers take a unique approach to helping families make more informed health care choices for their children with special health care needs, leading to better treatment decisions and improved outcomes,” said Secretary Sebelius.

“This program is a model for effective collaboration between families and health care professionals,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.  “By working together, we can ensure that children with special health care needs get the best care and treatment available.” 

“The Family-to-Family Information Centers are making a significant contribution to enhancing the lives of children with disability and special health care needs by giving them and their families trusted information and support from families managing similar disability related circumstances everyday,” said HHS Office on Disability Director Henry Claypool.

Since its inception, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers have served hundreds of thousands of families and health care providers.

The funding will continue support for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers located in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Centers in the remaining ten states (Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming) were funded during fiscal year 2009.  Because they are in their second year of three-year funding, they are not eligible for this funding opportunity.

For more information on the program, and other HRSA maternal and child health programs, visit www.mchb.hrsa.gov/ .  To view this funding announcement, visit www.grants.gov and enter announcement number “HRSA-11-035.”  For more information on finding health coverage options for children, visit www.InsureKidsNow.gov .  For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit www.HealthCare.gov

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov .

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