Care Coordination

Care Coordination Forum: Enhancing Access to Crucial Supports and Services

By: Susan Roman, RN, MPH

Veronica Rosario’s story highlights the impact care coordination can have on children and families.

Rosario and her two children relocated to Connecticut from Puerto Rico in 2015, after her husband passed away from cancer and her youngest son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. They moved in with her in-laws for a fresh start, but struggled to line up health care, transportation and other services.

After making phone call after phone call, Rosario eventually connected to Connecticut Children’s Center for Care Coordination. After completing a comprehensive needs assessment and developing a plan of care, Rosario’s care coordinator helped her to access and secure the appropriate medical care for her son, transportation to appointments, and health insurance. She also helped Rosario enroll her sons into school, complete applications for an apartment, and referred her for additional services including an employment agency, a local food bank, and town social services.

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Veronica Rosario addressing attendees at our 2nd Annual Care Coordination Forum in 2017.

Today, the family is thriving. They live in their own home, Rosario’s son is receiving specialized services for his diagnosis and Rosario has become an active member of her community. Not only is she working towards her graduate degree but she is teaching other parents how to advocate for their children.

Her story is powerful, as it highlights the ability of care coordinators to support families during times of great need, connect them across child service sectors, and empower them to do all they can to ensure their children reach their fullest potential. Had Rosario not received care coordination services, it’s entirely possible she may still be struggling to access basic care for her children.

Rosario will be one of the featured speakers at our 3rd Annual Care Coordination Forum on May 3, where she will share her story of overcoming adversity with an audience of care coordinators, physicians, nurses, social workers, and leaders of community and state agencies.

To register for the 3rd Annual Care Coordination Forum, click here.

The Forum’s theme is It Starts with You: Redefining Your Role in Change Through Story, Substance, and Strategy and will highlight how we can utilize our collective voices and expertise to tell our stories in a way that will transform how we support children and families.

The Forum’s Keynote Speaker is Matthew Dicks; an international bestselling author, elementary school teacher, professional storyteller, wedding DJ, minister, blogger and life coach. He is a 34-time Moth Story SLAM champion and four-time Grand SLAM champion who has been featured on the Moth Radio Hour and This American Life. He’s the co-founder and artistic director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization.

The Forum will offer attendees a wide range of presentations that address contemporary issues that impact the health and well-being of children throughout the nation. Fourteen breakout sessions address such critical issues as: trauma informed care, refugee health, homelessness, unconscious bias, social innovation, parents as partners, and much more.

More than ever, it is important for cross-sector providers to come together in support of children and families. Our Forum provides attendees the opportunity to learn from disciplines that they may not otherwise have access to; to network with state, community, and national leaders; and to deepen their appreciation for the work being done to create a comprehensive child-serving system.

There are many lessons to be learned from parents like Veronica Rosario, who overcame incredible struggles to become an inspiring advocate for her children and a motivational parent leader in her community.

As service providers, we often struggle to find the words to properly convey the meaning of our work. However, as this Forum will teach us, the words are often right in front of us, hidden in the stories of the children and families we work with every day.

By telling these stories, lawmakers and funders will better understand the extraordinary role care coordination plays in enhancing outcomes and promoting optimal healthy development for our most vulnerable young residents.

Susan Roman, RN, MPH, is the program director for Connecticut Children’s Center for Care Coordination.

To sign up to receive E-Updates from Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health, click here.

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