Welcome to a special production created with our colleagues at the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership (OPIP). OPIP is a public private partnership seeking to create a meaningful, long-term collaboration of stakeholders invested in child health care quality, with the common purpose of improving the health of all children and youth in Oregon.

This episode explores recent developments in the health sector here in Oregon meant to improve the care for children ages zero to five. One of those developments is a social emotional health metric. This is a tool designed to shift attention to social emotional health services for children from birth to age 5 and help Oregon’s Medicaid system focus on prevention and investment in young children, and the health aspects of kindergarten readiness. The other development is a data set known as health complexity data, which pulls together information about a child’s medical and social conditions to better understand how systems can meet their needs. If that sounds complex, stay tuned as we break things down.

Throughout the episode, we talk with people in the field who have gotten started using the data to help reshape community level systems so that children and families can get what they need. And some of the most exciting work is taking place where the needs are greatest. That’s Douglas County, located in southern Oregon and it covers more than 5,000 square miles, from the Oregon coast reaching inland toward eastern Oregon. The data shows that Douglas County has the most socially complex children in the state, and leaders and community members have pulled together to help the systems evolve to better meet the needs of those children. We wanted to thank our guests: Taylor Dombek, the director of integrated clinical services at Umpqua Health Alliance, Colleen Reuland, the director of the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership, James Lytle and Karra Crane, two parents from Douglas County, Alison Hinson, a counselor with Juniper Tree Counseling in Roseburg, and Robin Hill-Dunbar from The Ford Family Foundation. The development of the social emotional health metric began in 2018 with a partnership between the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership, known to many as OPIP, Children’s Institute, and the Oregon Health Authority.

More about The Early Link Podcast

The Early Link Podcast highlights national, regional, and local voices working in early childhood education and the nonprofit sector. The podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Rafael Otto, Children’s Institute’s director of communications.


Transcript coming soon. 

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