(Source: ReThink Health – UCRV)
In October, 2015, the leadership of the Rocking Chair Project participated in a formal strategic planning process to chart goals and direction for 2015 to 2025. As part of that process, the organization committed to “exploring approaches to providing RCP home visits as an integral element of comprehensive and well established home services programs for a geographic population area.”
The RCP leadership then conducted a series of interviews with thought leaders nationwide, to assist in refining their objectives, and defining next steps. In the process, in October of 2015, they met with Joseph P. O’Donnell,M.D., associate dean at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and director of their Community Services Programs. Dr. O’Donnell believed that the RCP mission and planning were consistent with those of his own organization.
In addition to his own Community Service team, Dr. O’Donnell identified two potential points for programmatic integration: ReThink Health – Upper Connecticut River Valley (UCRV) and TLC/Good Beginnings of Sullivan County.
ReThink Health-UCRV is led by Steve Voight and is committed to catalyzing, connecting, and supporting collaborative work and learning to achieve measurable and sustainable improvements in health and health care.
TLC/Good Beginnings is led by Maggie Monroe-Cassel and strives to promote the optimal health and development of children and families in their geographic catchment area. Melony Williams is the Clinical Supervisor of their Healthy Families programming.
In December of 2015, representatives of all four organizations met and agreed to a one year pilot project focused on advancing the health of young expectant mothers and their babies. The specific goals of the collaborative program are:
1. Expansion of eligible moms into the TLC home visitation program.
2. Increase retention of enrolled mom in the home visitation program.
3. Positively impact the formative training of humanistic medical students with a focus on empathy and community service.
4. Reinforce inclusiveness of mothers and family as part of the team and positively impact the future trajectory of mother and child.
The primary strategy is to offer a free RCP glider chair and ottoman to eligible expectant moms who enroll and participate in the TLC home visitation program. The promotion of the program, to be formally launched on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2016, will include the combined communication resources of Dartmouth, ReThink Health-UCRV, TLC/New Beginnings, and RCP. The visits will include specially prepared Dartmouth medical students, and will advantage the TLC comprehensive programming as well as RCP orientation materials available on our website.
The program will tract numbers of enrollees and retention levels, comparing these to prior years. This research will help determine whether the high impact RCP visit can improve health outcomes in this target vulnerable population.