The Network now has more than 900 members. Encourage your colleagues to join today.


Profile: Dr. Mark Edelstein, Medical Director, EMQ FamiliesFirst
Dr. Mark Edelstein oversees mental health treatment and social services for some of California’s most troubled kids. With his staff at EMQ FamiliesFirst, Edelstein works to keep children with significant mental health issues in their communities – an important task at a time when the rate of mental health-related hospitalizations of California children and youth is rising. Learn more.

Network Members Identify Effective Care Coordination Programs
Last year, Network members responded to a survey that solicited their perspectives on care coordination for children with special health care needs in California. At the end of the survey, respondents were asked to identify model programs they thought provided effective care coordination. We have compiled a list of information about 13 programs across the state, including the populations served, qualifications required for the care coordinator, and a program description. If you have suggestions for additional programs, please contact Janis at We will update the list periodically.

Health Director Highlights Contra Costa County Care Coordination Work
In his February newsletter, William B. Walker, MD, director of Contra Costa Health Services, featured an article about the work of the Contra Costa California Community Care Coordination Collaborative or “Seven Cs.” The program is part of the 5Cs statewide learning collaborative that includes care coordination programs in seven regions around the state. See page 4 of the Director’s Report for the article about Contra Costa.


New Publication: How Will California’s Child Health Insurance Programs Evolve Under the ACA?
As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented, coverage for some California children and families will change. Meanwhile, the state is at a crossroads and must decide if and how to modify current programs. A new series of issue briefs, prepared by the Insure the Uninsured Project and funded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, examines the impact of the Affordable Care Act and offers recommendations on how the state might alter existing programs and systems to better serve children. Read the briefs.

10% Medi-Cal Cuts Affecting Some Prescription Medications
A February 6 program on public radio’s The California Report highlighted pharmacists’ concerns over the 10 percent Medi-Cal cuts that took effect on February 7. Many medications are exempted from the cuts, but not all. Read more.

Department of Health Care Services Offers E-Mail Alerts for Stakeholders
California’s Department of Health Care Services, whose programs include Medi-Cal, California Children’s Services, Child Health and Disability Prevention, and Genetically Handicapped Persons, has created an e-mail service so that stakeholders can receive updates on department initiatives and projects. Learn more and subscribe.


Feds Examine Seclusion and Restraints in Schools
The US Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has issued a report, Dangerous Use of Seclusion and Restraints in Schools Remains Widespread and Difficult to Remedy: A Review of Ten Cases. A number of examples cited in the report relate to children with special health care needs. Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) intends to propose legislation to address the issues raised, including limiting types of restraints and requirements for parental notification.

Handling Food Allergies at School
Food allergies affect an estimated 4 to 6 percent of children, and can have far-reaching effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for managing food allergies in schools.


While rates of hospitalization of adults for mental health issues have fallen in recent years, rates are increasing for California youth, especially for older teenagers. Mental health hospitalization rates of teens ages 15-19 rose 34 percent between 2007 and 2012. Find mental health hospitalizations data by age and county on


Who Chooses the Specialist? Parents’ Views on How Referrals Are Made to Specialty Care
Most children with special health care needs require the services of one or more specialists, yet primary care providers vary in how and why they refer children for specialty care. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital asked a national sample of parents of children ages 5-17 about their preferences for specialist referrals for their children. See the findings.

Ensuring Adequate Marketplace Provider Networks: What’s Needed for Children
A new issue brief funded by five major national child health organizations, including Family Voices, explains why children need robust medical provider networks and how such networks can be developed and monitored over time. Read the issue brief.


Family Voices Seeks Stories About ACA
As part of its advocacy work, Family Voices is documenting families’ experiences with the Affordable Care Act – both positive and negative. Submit your story here.

Other Updates
- Feds Say They Fixed Medicaid Problem for Children
ABC, 2/8/14
- Covered California Takes Provider Directory Offline
Covered California News, 2/6/14



Help Me Grow California Seeks Partners for Learning Community
Help Me Grow California is seeking new counties or regional consortia to join its California Learning Community. The Learning Community provides information about Help Me Grow, which is an integrated statewide system that promotes early identification of at-risk children and linkage to developmental and behavioral services. See more information and the application form.

Deadline Extended to March 15 - High School Students May Apply for Leadership Forum
The annual five-day Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is sponsored by the Department of Rehabilitation. High school juniors and seniors who have a disability are eligible to apply. YLF is held in Sacramento in July, and students will be housed at California State University, Sacramento. Find more information.

Useful Links
- The federal government has launched a new tool to help individuals with disabilities and their families find needed information quickly and efficiently. The Guide Me tool offers a step-by-step search process.
- The Center for Parent Information and Resources has updated its fact sheet on children with multiple disabilities.
- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Developmental Services has created a 2013 resource guide, Healthy Relationships, Sexuality and Disability.


2014 Fostering Partnership and Teamwork in the Pediatric Medical Home: A “How To” Webinar
Friday, February 28, 2014
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific Time
National Center for Medical Home Implementation
Part one of a three-part webinar series focusing on promoting teamwork and partnership in pediatric medical homes. Register and learn more about the series.

Medi-Cal Coverage until Age 26 for Former Foster Youth
Thursday, February 27, 2014
11 a.m. to noon Pacific Time
Children Now and The Youth Law Center
Practical information on how former foster youth can enroll in Medi-Cal coverage, including tips to help youth overcome enrollment barriers and outreach efforts to inform former foster youth about this new benefit. Register.

Health Homes: Perspectives from the Leaders
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time
California Improvement Network
Learn how states are implementing health home programs under the ACA to improve care coordination and benefit from enhanced federal matching dollars to cover these services. Learn more and register.


2014 Department of Health Care Services Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meetings
The 2014 DHCS Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meetings will be held in Sacramento from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The next meeting is Friday, February 21. Meetings are open to the public.

Let us know what's happening with your organization or family. E-mail Network Manager Janis Connallon at with your news or updates. Newsletter Editor: Eileen Walsh