Health & Wellness Alliance for Children: Children’s Health System of Texas
Children’s Health System of Texas and the Health and Wellness Alliance for Children
Connection to Moving Health Care Upstream
Children’s Health System of Texas (CHST) is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, 8 specialty centers, 20 pediatric primary care offices, 9 Our Children’s House locations, home health, a health plan, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), several professional corporations, and the Foundation. The mission of this health system is to make life better for children. As one of the community-embedded programs of CHST Community Health, The Health and Wellness Alliance for Children (the Alliance) in as a trusted convener or integrator for CHST. The goal of the Alliance is to foster mutual respect while building collaboration with families, community partners and clinical stakeholders. The Alliance serves as the anchor organization for the Moving Health Care Upstream team in Dallas, TX.
Our Community & Need
The initial focus area of our Moving HealthCare Upstream work is in West Dallas. CHST’s Children’s Health Pediatric Clinic in West Dallas serves a total population of approximately 25,000, majority Hispanic, urban residents.
Children in the West Dallas face a range of environmental issues that increase their risk for development and exacerbation of asthma. Poor housing conditions, air pollution, and extreme heat during the summer leading to extended numbers of poor air quality days are all contributors. In addition, a large portion of the homes along the Trinity River flood regularly during high rains creating conditions ripe for mold and other airborne contaminants.
Furthermore, service delivery issues contribute to the problem. A significant amount of children who present in the Emergency Department for low-acuity or non-emergent complaints receive fragmented care through a patchwork of safety net providers. In addition, though our health care providers are aware of social and environmental determinants negatively impacting patients’ health outcomes, they lack the time and knowledge of local resources to connect families to supports and services.
A cross-sector community partnership was created to address these issues, with a focus on reducing asthma-related Emergency Department visits and hospitalization. Key work areas of collaboration include: 1) fostering connections to patient centered medical homes, 2) connecting families to lay health workers who can provide asthma education in the home and help address other social determinants of health such as housing remediation assistance, 3) advocating for revisions to the city’s code requirements for housing standards, and 4) addressing health literacy and education.
Community Partners for Our Work with MHCU
- Dallas Independent School District (ISD) understands that social determinants influencing educational outcomes are often the same determinants impacting health, making them a valued partner. The district identifies children who have asthma and refers their families to the in-home asthma education program. In addition, the district partners with the Alliance to train school nurses on the correct use of asthma inhaler spacers and also provides the spacers for distribution to students with asthma.
- AVANCE provides capacity, expertise, and experience in providing innovative community-based education and family support services to hard-to-reach families.
- The City of Dallas provides support and direction for community linkages as well as support for policy-related activities related to housing codes and other relevant issues. The City also ensures that code inspectors are trained in the Health Homes curriculum so they are aware of the effects of the home environment on health when out conducting their inspections.
For More Information
If you would like more information about the upstream work happening in our community please contact Jason Wallace: [email protected]. Please also see our website and social media accounts: