Pediatricians are called to improve the health of all children in a world with increasing numbers of children living in poverty. For the past 20 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has provided small seed grants to help local pediatricians reach out to their communities to improve child health, increase access to care, and promote advocacy.
A special article in the January 2014 Pediatrics evaluates the impact of projects funded by this program, called the Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Program.
From 2006 to 2012, the CATCH Program funded 401 projects, averaging $10,213 per grant, in a broad range of communities and settings, including clinics, schools, and community organizations. A majority of the projects (85 percent) focused on children covered by Medicaid. The most common areas of focus were nutrition, medical home and access to care.
Most grantees (86 percent) reported that their project continued to exist in some form after the original CATCH funding, often with new community partners. This sustained community engagement allows pediatricians to address important child health issues such as poverty, early brain development, epigenetics, quality and access.
The article, “The Influence of Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Program on Community Pediatrics” will be published online Dec. 9.