DC Focusing on Improving Health and Wellness Outcomes

DC Focusing on Improving Health and Wellness Outcomes

 The District of Columbia (DC) is implementing a health and wellness initiative with a goal of improving health outcomes for adults with intellectual disabilities by addressing policies, practices, and resources for workforce development that affect change in the system of community-based services and supports.  DC is partnering with the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.  According to a recent presentation by DDA staff, this initiative will assist DDA to: 

  •  Develop capacity within the service system to provide evidence-based health care that meets contemporary quality standards;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of policies and procedures related to the delivery of health care and related services;
  • Implement parenting supports using the Project IMPACT model; and
  • Implement training and technical assistance to service providers to deliver trauma-informed care.

 Highlights of some of the focus areas include:

  1. Health Education/Promotion:
  • Training and coaching to people with disabilities and their staff on all aspects of health promotion.
  • Topics include:  Sexuality Education, Health Champions who attend meetings with their staff to learn about different aspects of personal health promotion and presentations to people with ID and their staff regarding oral healthcare. 

2.  Increasing knowledge of the needs of people with IDD:

  • Require use of a Health Passport that travels with the person to the doctor or hospital and includes a listing of medications and medical diagnoses,
  • Establish a system-wide Approach to Health Prevention Screening
  • Offer on-line resources, tools & trainings, and;
  • Establish a study of how guardians make end of life decisions for people who cannot expressly state their wishes.

3.  Improving quality of healthcare: 

  • All people receiving supports have a continuous source of primary care from doctors in individual practice, federally qualified health centers, and other community and university affiliated health clinics,
  • employ most currently available health and wellness standards, and include requirements for nursing assessments, Health Care Management Plans, preventive health screenings, immunizations,
  • Facilitate conversations between and among the primary care physicians, the hospitalists, medical specialists and interdisciplinary team members, and;
  • promote the use of a common set of practices through a transition of care checklist to ensure safe transitions from hospital to home.                                                                4.  Train providers and health care professionals: 
  • Ongoing training and technical assistance for provider nurses, managers  

      and Direct Support Professionals,

  • Monthly nursing roundtables which accounts for 2 hours of continuing

      nursing education.

  • Web-based curriculum for nurses new to the DD field followed by direct

      observation and feedback by nurse educator, and;

  • In–service learning and practicums for nursing and medical students.

 Increasing sources of healthcare:

  • To dentists by increasing Medicaid reimbursement to include a    

      comprehensive set of procedures.

  • By using grants to local community health centers to support the use of a   

      Physician extender to facilitate a medical home approach to primary

      health services.

  • By doing outreach, recruitment and training of medical and behavioral

      health physicians.

  • By offering a variety of wellness services within the Medicaid waiver,

including through Individualized Day Supports.

  • To use the waiver to increase rates for clinical services,  and allow

      people to get fitness training with a work-out buddy.

 Person centered approaches:

  • Training for DDA staff, providers, clinicians, guardians, attorneys, and  

    families on person Centered Thinking to ensure a person has control      

    over  the life they desire and  is recognized and valued for their               

    contributions to their communities. 

 FMI Learn about DC’s health initiatives here http://dds.dc.gov/book/iii-health-and-wellness/health-and-wellness-standards