Child Abuse and Neglect
Partner with individuals and community organizations to decrease child abuse and neglect in Alaska and raise awareness around Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Every two years, the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership Board of Directors and staff are tasked with identifying the needs, gaps and areas for improvements in the way health care is delivered to children in Alaska. The board assesses the programs, services and health care systems for children and youth and determines what priorities will guide our organization’s strategic plan and collaborations we engage in over the next two years.
Our board is comprised of pediatricians, nurse practitioners, public health and community support organization leaders from both the Native and non-Native communities. Together, they bring with them vast knowledge of health care systems, medical expertise and the needs of our entire state and lend that knowledge to our effort to ensure all of Alaska’s kids are raised to their full potential.
Decrease Child Abuse and Neglect
Preventing child abuse and neglect starts with addressing the primary causes. Unfortunately, the rates of physical abuse and neglect remain high in Alaska. It’s imperative that we all work to protect those who can’t protect themselves. To that end, we continue to develop primary prevention strategies to reduce trauma and other forms of child abuse and neglect and collaborate with others such as the The Alaska Children's Trust to implement statewide initiatives that target this epidemic.
We are working with the Strengthening Families Alaska to develop a Strengthening Families Toolkit specific to primary care providers for implementation in their practice. We have worked with hospitals to implement an annual curriculum for nurses and physicians relating to identifying possible abuse and/or neglect. And we are working with the health care community of Sitka to implement Triple P - Positive Parenting Program to provide parents with the support and tools needed to raise kids in a positive environment.
AAPP introduced the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (see Resources for a link to the study) to the pediatric community at the All Alaska Pediatric Symposium back in 2013. Since then, we have actively worked to raise awareness to ACEs and their connection to negative health outcomes through trainings, talks, sharing of resources and collaborations with others who, like us, are focused on prevention.
Statewide Neurodevelopmental Services
In an effort to find a solution to fill the gap in pediatric neurodevelopmental subspecialty services for Alaska, staff from the State of Alaska Section of Women’s, Children’s and Family Health (WCFH), the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership and the
University of Alaska LEND program held a series of meetings by teleconference throughout the year with noted pediatric neurodevelopmental physicians from the Universities of Massachusetts, Utah and Washington to envision a new model of
providing services to children who are suspected of having autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. In November 2015, the AAPP secured funding from the Alaska Children’s Trust to assist WCHF in sponsoring a planning day to develop a new system of diagnosis. The full-day meeting took place on Nov. 6 at the Alaska Mental Health Trust, and was attended by nearly 30 multidisciplinary health care and social services professionals as well as physicians and staff from the Universities of Massachusetts, Utah and Washington.
In 2018, the Alaska Native Medical Center, one of our funding partners, will complete the building of a new pediatric neurodevelopment clinic on its campus. Additionally, the State of Alaska Division of Public Health is also in the advanced
phases of research and grant submissions to develop a complementing program. Together, the programs promise to fill the gap and significantly shorten the wait for patients in need of an appointment.
Immunizations and Vaccinations
Over the last 15 years, AAPP has worked to promote immunizations as an important way to keep kids and families healthy. Even though immunization rates have improved, the fact remains that nearly one in three young children is not adequately protected from vaccine preventable diseases. The state Healthy Alaskans 2020 target for children aged 19-35 months who receive the ACIP recommended vaccination series indicator is 75 percent. The national Healthy People 2020 target for this is 80 percent.
The AAPP First 1000 Days Immunization Workgroup focuses its efforts on professional and public education, community collaboration and partnerships, resource development and outreach. We also create targeted health messages and activities to high-risk communities. We aim to provide immunization information and resources for families and health care providers. The workgroup, lead by epidemiologist Dr. Rosalyn Singleton, has developed and purchased numerous resources (see Immunization resource page) we have sent out to community partners all around the state to promote on-time immunizations.
We monitor the following markers for success:
• Birth dose HepB
• DTaP series at several milestone ages
• MMR and varicella at 13 months
• 4:3:1* series at 19 months
Patient Centered Medical Homes
The All Alaska Pediatric Partnership’s primary goal is to advance the health of Alaska’s children and ensure they reach their full potential. We believe that to have healthy children we must also have healthy families. To this end, we work with our partners to expand patient centered-activities in the areas of Medical Home and Child Development. We are also working to integrate behavioral health specialists into the Patient-Centered Medical Home model and to support their services in a primary care level.
We provide information that helps providers connect families across Alaska to the supports they need and raise awareness around the options that are available. We link health care providers to resources for implementation of care coordination services in their practice. Assisting both families and providers in locating and accessing the help they need will only further the cause of making Alaska families healthier.