CHICAGO, June 22, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Easterseals announced today that it has received a grant from $ 750,000 from the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global healthcare company Abbott, for a pilot project on community health education and equity from now until 2025. The three-year project aims to address systemic barriers to high-quality education and healthcare experienced by children and families in underfunded communities.
Research shows that very young children, especially children with disabilities and children of color, face significant gaps in access to important health and social services that can provide the targeted support they need to be prepared to succeed. in school. One example: According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, black children with autism and other disabilities are diagnosed on average more than three years after their parents expressed concerns about their development. This delay in diagnosis means that these children miss age-appropriate care and the chance to improve their health and cognitive skills, which often leads to their entry into kindergarten with a deficit of knowledge and skills that many are unable to overcome during on his educational trip to K-12.
The Community Health Education and Justice Project will create an integrated system that meets the educational and health needs of children to help them be ready for kindergarten and reach their full potential. This includes work in three areas: expanding access to basic physical and mental health examinations and childcare; providing targeted social services to help families overcome gaps in basic needs, nutrition, transport and other social and economic barriers; and ensuring that early childhood administrators and educators have the right training to identify and address health and social challenges and provide culturally appropriate support for children. The project will be implemented in Easterseals’ childhood development centers Southern California, Atlanta and North Georgiaand the bigger one Washington■ area.
“Meeting the health care needs of babies and young children as early in life as possible is one of the critical ways Easterseals cater to young children and families across the country,” he said. Erica L. Watson, National Director of Child Development, Education and Justice at Easterseals. “The Community Health Education and Justice Project will allow us to better address the health inequalities faced by young children at BIPOC and their families in historically underserved and marginalized communities, and to better understand the connection between fairer access to health care and the readiness of kindergartens. Centering communities color in our efforts is a critical strategy for bridging the gap. The results of the project promise to inform its future expansion into early childhood and early childhood education programs across the Easterseals network of 70 affiliates in communities across the country. “
“We are proud to support the important work of Easterseals to help bridge the gaps in equity in education and community health,” he said. Melissa Broc, President of the Abbott Fund and Vice President of Global Marketing and Foreign Affairs at Abbott. “We are committed to promoting equity in health and combating racial health disparities, and our partnership with Easterseals will help reduce barriers to the care of children, their families and their communities.
The Community Health Education and Justice Project is based on the results of another Easterseals program, the Black Child Fund. Launched in 2021 with the support of the Abbott Fund and others, the Black Child Fund is improving early identification and interventions among black children with autism and other disabilities to reduce health disparities common in early childhood. Abbott Fund investment launches pilot projects at Easterseals sites serving Chicagoland and Great Rockford, DuPage and the Fox Valley (IL) area, and Kansas City and St. Louis (MO).
Through these pilot programs, there was an 87% increase in the number of black families seeking services and support, and in just one year, more than 300 black children were screened for early diagnosis of autism and other disabilities. Of these children, 80% were five years of age or younger, with 75% requesting and receiving additional services through Easterseals. An important result of these pilot projects is the strengthening of links in black communities in these Easterseals service areas to ensure fairer and more culturally responsive services and support for young, colorful children with disabilities and their families.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data showing that during the public health emergency of the pandemic, rates for primary and preventive services among children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) decreased significantly. This decline in care for millions of children in low-income families has the potential to have a significant impact on the long-term health outcomes of nearly 40 million children in the United States who rely on Medicaid and CHIP, including three-quarters of children living in poverty and many special health needs, including infants, young children and young children with disabilities.
“Through the Community Health Education and Equity Project, Easterseals aims to address the health disparities among young children in low-investment communities and to understand the link between health equity and early childhood education. We intend to center the experience of black children and their families, for whom inequalities are exacerbated only by the pandemic, “Watson concluded.
The Abbott Fund’s partnership with Easterseals supports Abbott’s 2030 Sustainability Plan, which aims to improve access to health and justice through partnership. Abbott’s ongoing commitment to addressing the challenges of health equity includes targeted programs to increase the diversity of clinical trials, empower STEM for women and underrepresented groups, and empower communities to break down social and economic barriers to better health.
About the Easter stamps
Easterseals leads the way to full justice, inclusion and access through life-changing disabilities and public services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to improve the quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. And we will not rest until each of us is appreciated, respected and accepted. Through our national branch network, Easterseals provides basic on-site services and support to more than 1.5 million people each year, from early childhood programs for the critical first five years to autism, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, programs for veteran services, etc. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and meet the urgent and evolving needs of one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together we enable people with disabilities, families and communities to be full and equal participants in society. To learn more, visit www.easterseals.com.
For Abbott and Abbott Fund
Abbott is a world leader in healthcare that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies covers the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, food and branded generic drugs. Our 113,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.
The Abbott Fund is a philanthropic foundation founded by Abbott in 1951. The mission of the Abbott Fund is to create healthier global communities by investing in creative ideas that promote science, expand access to health care, and strengthen communities around the world.
Contact us at abbott.com and abbottfund.org.
SOURCE Easter stamps