Monday, August 12, 2013

Please Help Support The Pediatric Health Improvement Coalition of Tennessee

We need you to become part of the PHIC-TN partnership.  As a community, we can make our city a healthy home for all children.  If you would like to financially contribute, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga has set up the Pediatric Health Fund.  Donation may be made electronically at
They may also be mailed to or dropped of at the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga's office.

Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
1270 Market St.
Chattanooga, TN 37402
phone: 423.265.0586
fax: 423.265.0587

Thank you.

Resources to Study Health Data About Our Region

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2013 KIDS COUNT data center   

The Kaiser Family Foundation, STATE HEALTH FACTS data center

The United Health Foundation and the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.  23rd Edition of America's Health Rankings: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities.

University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  County Health Rankings April 3, 2012.

The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies.  State of the Chattanooga Region Report: Health.

Why Does The Chattanooga Region Need a Strategic Health Plan?

Southeast Tennessee is experiencing pervasive and complicated pediatric health challenges.  Our community is struggling with identifying the issues fueling these trends.  In addition, we lack an organized infrastructure that could develop and direct pediatric health resources to improve the region's health outcomes.

These pediatric health deficiencies have a dramatic, long-term impact our community.  Large cultural, geographic and socio-economic groups have limited access to care.  Many children are at a disadvantage due to poor maternal health, inadequate perinatal care, lower percentages of school readiness, obesity and increased impact of chronic disease.  These deficiencies exponentially increase the community's overall health cost, are barriers to improving the school system's performance, and limit the capability of our potential work force.

Many communities have recognized these identical challenges.  There is a well developed body of work analyzing community trends, identifying contributory factors and creating community-based approaches to address these problems.  We are also seeing aggressive and innovative restructuring of regional health care delivery occurring in all of Tennessee's major medical regions.  Chattanooga is critically off the pace for pediatric healthcare in this regard.

Pediatric Health Facts About Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley

Tennessee Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition releases startling statistics about Chattanooga's children

Chattanooga, TN - The Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition - Tennessee is releasing recent findings about the health of Chattanooga area children.

Ÿ         The infant mortality rate for African Americans in Hamilton County is 18%, which is greater than the infant mortality rates in Mexico, Bulgaria, Columbia, China, Jordan, Oman, Georgia, Moldova, Panama and Romania (TN is 7.9% for all populations and ranks 48th nationally).

Ÿ         One of every ten live births in our region is low birth weight (<2500g).  This is 60% higher than national benchmarks.

Ÿ         One baby in five is born to a mother who smokes tobacco.

Ÿ         42% of Tennessee children are covered by TennCare and 7% have no insurance coverage.

Ÿ         Children in our region are 20% more likely to not have primary care than children nationally.

Ÿ         One out of every five South Chattanooga children and one out of every ten Ridgedale/Oak Grove/Clifton Hills neighborhood children are not ready to start kindergarten because of physical problems.

Ÿ         The number of children ages 2 to 17 with a parent who reports that a doctor has told them their child has autism, developmental delays, depression or anxiety, ADD/ADHD, or behavioral/conduct problem has increased from 16% to 21 % in the last 4 years.

Ÿ         20% of our region's children are obese (>95th percentile).  This is 26% more than the national average.  40% of 10 to 17-year-old males are overweight or obese in TN.

87% of obese adolescents become obese adults.
39% of obese adolescents become severely obese adults.

People who are obese have annual medical costs that are $1429 higher than those of normal weight.

Ÿ         Teen pregnancy rates are 5% higher in our region than across Tennessee and one and a half times the national benchmarks.

Ÿ         Chattanooga ranks the 5th worst asthma city in the United States, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.  The American Lung Association of Chattanooga has found that asthma is the number one reason children miss school and parents miss work.

Ÿ         One out of every eight under 18-year-olds in Tennessee suffered from Asthma symptoms this last year (tied with Alabama and Delaware as worst).

The Pediatric Health Improvement Coalition Announces the Tennessee Valley Strategic Pediatric Health Planning Initiative

The Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition - Tennessee (PHIC-TN) is a community health partnership.  The purpose is to improve the pediatric health of all Tennessee Valley children.  We are currently raising funds to begin a four phase strategic planning initiative.

In Phase I, PHIC-TN plans to complete an analysis of the Chattanooga pediatric healthcare market.  This will include defining the region's population health needs and demographic trends.  The analysis will map market share and quality of current ambulatory and in-patient offerings.  It will also model future demographic shifts, healthcare demand and the impact of healthcare reform.

Using the analysis in Phase I, Phase II will call on community leaders to develop a vision for pediatric healthcare.  A series of presentation forums and inclusive, participatory workshops will be used to bring community stakeholders, medical industry leaders and providers together to plan future goals.  These meetings will lead to a detailed plan for the development of a comprehensive care system over the next five years.  The final step of Phase II will be a gap analysis of the difference between the coalition's vision and the current pediatric healthcare resources.

Phase III will define pragmatic, efficient and sustainable delivery models for the region's comprehensive pediatric healthcare services.  This will include diagramming the options for local and regional alignment of pediatric providers, medical service vendors, in-patient facilities, community health-focused organizations, medical academics and payers.  The future vision of a comprehensive pediatric network in Chattanooga will be explored in terms of the integration of best practices, emerging innovations, impact of health care reform and other financial and regulatory pressures.  In Phase III, similar existing institutional examples will be cataloged.  We will also project community infrastructure modifications and/or expansion requirements.

Phase IV will complete a time and cost accounting of proposed alignment, operating and care delivery models.  Physician and other provider demand will be reconciled with resources and potential outcomes.  The Coalition will define requirements and capital costs of facility and other infrastructure needs.  We will produce a detailed impact plan on region healthcare outcomes.  This impact will be the basis of a development campaign to complete the community accepted recommendations of the Coalition.

Once our strategic planning campaign is complete, we will have a robust picture of our community and its pediatric health challenges.  Our health, cultural, religious, education, business, and political leaders will have a more singular view of the problems and potential solutions.  This data will empower the development of a cost-effective and efficient regional pediatric healthcare system.  This long-term, comprehensive road map will be resilient to the stress of current national changes as it meets the needs of all of our region's children.  Finally, PHIC-TN will begin a development program to implement a pediatric provider alignment, refine delivery of care systems and construct new facilities.

The Chattanooga region's children are among the unhealthiest in Tennessee and the nation.  Because of future progress based on this project, our children and the system that cares for them can become an example of community wellness.  Our city is a national leader in business development, natural beauty and cost of living.  It is time that we continue that narrative of excellence in the story of our children's health.  We have the health provider talent and leadership, we have the community commitment, we have the philanthropic heart, and we have the political leadership.  This project will provide a needed tool to congeal and energize these components so that Chattanooga can be what we desire: 
a world class city for all children.

The Pediatric Health Improvement Coalition of Tennessee

Healthy Chattanooga Kids is the blog of the Pediatric Health Improvement Coalition of the Tennessee  Valley(PHIC-TV).  PHIC-TV is a community partnership to improve the health of all Tennessee Valley children.