The West Virginia Kids’ Health Partnership is a new WVAHC project, funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, with the mission to build bridges between health care, social supports, and community services, so all of West Virginia’s kids have the opportunity to develop to their healthiest potential. We are comprised of members across sectors and systems that provide kids’ health and support services in our state with a collective goal to identify and alleviate barriers that exist between siloed systems, so health care can better connect with social supports and make it easier to address health disparities and improve health outcomes.

WVKHP’s purpose is a challenging but important one. West Virginia has a high rate of children living in poverty, a high rate of disease prevalence, and increasingly limited resources to address these issues. Many of us have worked to address the poor health outcomes and disparities associated with poverty, but we have not worked together to address the breakdown between these systems which significantly contribute to the ineffectiveness of our programs/services.

Our Guiding Principles:

Kids have unique, developmental health care needs.

— West Virginia’s kids face serious systemic and cultural barriers that can keep them from developing to their full potential.
— Collaboration is key to addressing the children’s health disparities in our health care system.
— Now is the time to organize and act on bold, bright ideas.
— We need to develop a statewide strategic plan to guide this critical work.

For a more in-depth introduction to the partnership, please click here to watch the Prezi presentation.

To identify and address these challenges, WVKHP welcomes bright ideas from members and invited guests. We want to give those who have this insight the venue and opportunity to share these ideas. WVKHP will provide the coordination, legwork, research and evaluation of the potential idea. If there’s a will and a way, the Partnership will work to make it happen.

Those with potential ideas will complete a simple form that asks required criteria before presenting to the group. Possible questions include:

— How does it connect medical care and social supports?
— How does it break down silos between systems?
— Is it realistic, i.e. “do-able?”
— What are the potential costs, and is it fundable?

One meeting, every two months, will be dedicated to a new idea. Meetings held on the off months will be for further discussion about the idea with the Partnership, as well as evaluation and preparation for the next month’s presentation.

Do you have a bright idea?  Please complete this form and submit it to Julianne Yacovone at [email protected].

Those who submit successful proposals will work closely with WVKHP staff to champion the idea to fruition. This could be done in a number of ways—such as researching similar projects in other states, coordinating meetings with potential partners, finding funding and grant writing, producing policy briefs and advocating in conjunction with partnering agencies.

The result will be literally taking bright ideas and following them through to implementation.