Family to Family Health Information Centers
"Where can I find a support group for families whose children have the same diagnosis as my child? "My baby is being released from the NICU.  What happens next?" "How will the Affordable Care Act affect children with special healthcare needs?" "Can you help us develop a Family Advisory Committee at our hospital?"

These are some of the questions that parents and professionals ask the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2F HICs).  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), funds the F2F HICs.  The funding was made available through the Affordable Care Act (national health reform).  The National Center for Family and Professional Partnerships, a project of Family Voices, provides technical assistance for the Centers.

These Centers, one in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, are staffed by family members with first-hand knowledge of the maze of health care services and programs for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).  This intimate understanding of the issues that families face makes F2F staff exceptionally qualified to help families navigate health systems and make informed decisions.

While each F2F HIC is unique, they all provide free, confidential information, education, training, support and referral services, and outreach to under-served/underrepresented populations.  They collaborate with other F2F's, family groups, professionals, and agencies within their states.

Family to Family Health Information Centers are located in 4 main geographic regions in the state. The people that run these centers are called Health Information Specialists and they provide information, education, and peer support to families of children with special health care needs in Ohio.  To find a Health Information Specialist in your area click on the appropriate link. Northwest Ohio Northeast Ohio Southwest Ohio Central Ohio Southeastern Ohio

These Health Information Specialists have been dedicated to serving all children with special healthcare needs for many years and have worked closely with other family servicing agencies, and are familiar with the cultural and ethnic needs of surrounding communities.

These parents are experienced in the complexities of the health care system in their communities.  Parent navigators in each region will: (1) partner with the 211 agencies of the surrounding area including the use of interpreter services, (2) work in conjunction with service coordinators from Help Me Grow, BCMH public health nurses, DODD's, mental health agencies, and children's hospitals, (3) connect with family support and advocacy organizations, (4) network with local AAP chapters, (5) arrange for trainings in collaboration with BCMH and Family Voices, (6) collaborate with local Benefits Bank counselors to enroll families in public programs like Medicaid, (7) identify and assist cultural groups to address their children's health disparities, (8) and report data regularly.

Gradually this Family 2 Family Network will spread in sphere of coverage so that families of children with special healthcare needs throughout Ohio are linked to support and services. 

Each region of the state, will have its own contact information for the Family Specialist and resources of organizations that represent various groups within that geographic region..  Just click on the appropriate tab to find the information for the region in which you are looking for information.
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