More than 150,000 children in Iowa have special health care needs including:

  • chronic conditions, like asthma and diabetes
  • developmental or behavioral disorders, like autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • complex health issues, like spina bifida or cerebral palsy

A “system of care” approach recognizes the importance of family, school, and community and promotes the full potential of every child by addressing their physical, emotional, cultural, and social needs.

Using this approach, we focus on a child’s total health and well-being. This includes prevention, assessment, early intervention, care coordination, and family-to-family support.

Child Health Specialty Clinics (CHSC) is a community-based, public health agency with a network of regional centers and satellite locations across Iowa. Through  a longstanding relationship with CHSC, part of Iowa’s statewide title V public health system, we build on the system of care to ensure the very best treatments and resources for children with special health care needs. CHSC provides gap-filling clinical services – services that do not fall under primary care – including telehealth appointments, to connect families with pediatric specialists in psychiatry, genetics, neurology, and nutrition.


Resources


We collaborate with primary care providers throughout Iowa to treat children with mild to moderate emotional and behavioral health challenges within their medical home through the Child and Youth Psychiatric Consult Project of Iowa.

We also work with the Iowa Department of Public Health to support primary care providers in the early detection of social-emotional and developmental delays in Iowa children 0-5 years old through the Iowa’s 1st Five Health Mental Development Program.

Iowa Child Health Connections is an online resource for parents of children with special health care needs, their families, and the providers that care for them.

Patient Stories

  • Madison

    Ross Family

    Our youngest daughter, Madison, was born with partial trisomy [a genetic disorder in which a person has part of an extra copy of chromosome 13], which has led to multiple health needs. 

    Being able to utilize telehealth services at...Read more

  • Rylan Mohr

    Rylan Mohr portrait

    Rylan was born with an extremely rare skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that causes his skin to be extremely fragile and to blister and come off with the slightest friction. His condition was detected at birth, and he was transferred to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital when he was just 3 days old.Read more