Thursday, December 15, 2011

Featured resource for December newsletter: Medical Homes

We will be introducing the health information specialists for the family to family health information center at Family Voices Indiana over the next few newsletters. Their biographies will also be included on our website. Every contractor at our center is a parent of a child(ren) with special healthcare needs and/or disabilities. We have personal experience navigating the systems and services in Indiana. We look forward to learning more about your families as well.

Cyndi Johnson is our HIS for the Bloomington/Monroe County area, and is a bit of a "hats" person, in that she tends to wear quite a few! She is delighted to have recently donned a new one--Health Information Specialist--for Family Voices of Indiana. She has also had the privilege of serving for the last 2 years wearing a not-unrelated hat for The Arc of Indiana as a Family Advocate, helping people navigate the maze of disability services. In addition, as an Advanced Signing Time Instructor, she wears a "teacher cap" several times each week leading "Play-N-Sign" classes around Bloomington.

Sometimes she exchanges her "work hat" for a volunteer one, serving in the education ministry at First Presbyterian Church, as a board member for the local Down syndrome group and Citizen Advocacy of South Central Indiana, and as chairperson for the local First Steps council.

But the most important hat that she wears is one that is often stained and a bit crooked thanks to the little fingers of her 3 children, Aidan (age 5, with high-functioning autism and ADHD), Rebecca (age 3 with Down syndrome), and Leah (age 8 months with a serious case of the "happies"). And she would be remiss without a tip of her hat(s) to her husband, Kaj, who is a professor at IU and a wonderfully supportive companion and father. Together, they enjoy exploring all that Bloomington has to offer, especially the Wonderlab, Farmer's Market, city parks, and the music and arts scene.

And finally, she'd like to say "hats off" to Family Voices, which is meeting a huge need in Indiana by connecting families and amplifying their voice at this critical point in the history of the disability movement. She looks forward to being a part of it!

Kerry Bonney is our HIS for the Seymour/Jackson County area. She describes her role as an advocate as one that she has prepared for all of her life. From her work in the healthcare field for eighteen years to caring for her son with multiple disabilities, she brings her experiences to share with others in hopes that they will be educated and empowered to successfully campaign for the needs of their children.

Kerry resides with her husband, Paul, in Seymour, and is mom to Lanea, a student at the University of Indianapolis, and Evan. Kerry worked as a Family Advocate with The Arc Network for several years and volunteered as a board member for The Arc of Jackson County. She was recently elected president of The Arc of Jackson County.

A medical home is the working relationship between a child’s family and a physician’s practice that supports both excellent health care and family satisfaction. It includes good communication at office visits, between office visits and regarding visits to other specialists as well as oral health, health education, family support and anything else important to a child’s overall health.

Many of the elements of a medical home are dependent on the doctor’s willingness to create an environment where health care services are accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally competent.

However, families can improve parent/professional partnerships by maintaining an ongoing record of their child's care, services, providers, and notes. A care notebook is a great tool in empowering families to become the experts on their child's care. It is also a way to maintain the lines of communication between the many providers and services that help care for a child and their family.

You can find more information about care notebooks here. You can also find Indiana's version, The Wellness Passport, here.

A Family Voices Indiana health information specialist can help you if you need assistance or further explanation. Please call us at 317 944 8982. We also have additional information on our website.

A Sunny Start sheet explaining Medical Homes is embedded below.

If you'd like to sign up for our monthly newsletter, you can do so here.

FS_MedicalHome (1)

1 comment:

Abby Tudor said...

These women sound like two great people to go to for advice. The fact that they have children with disabilities themselves only shows they know from experience what other families have to go through.