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Transitioning Youth to Adult Care

Thank you for visiting the Georgia Partnership for Ensuring Adolescent Comprehensive Heatlhcare Transition (GA PEACH-T) webpage for information on transitioning youth from pediatric to adult care. GA PEACH-T is a collaborative initiative of the Georgia Department of Public Health, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Regents University, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Parent to Parent of Georgia and other partners throughout the state.

Mission

To ensure successful transition from pediatric to adult health care for Georgia’s youth with special health care needs.

Vision

All youth with special health care needs in Georgia successfully transition to adult health care, work and/or education and receive coordinated services within a medical home.

Overall Goals for the GA PEACH-T Initiative

  1. to improve the system of transition services for youth with special health care need and their families; and
  2. to provide opportunities to improve access for children and youth with special health care needs who receive coordinated, on-going, comprehensive care within a medical home.

Background

In July 2012, the Georgia Department of Public Health was awarded the State Implementation Grants for System of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs. This three year project focuses on improving the system of transition services for youth with special health care needs in Georgia for independence to adult health care, work, and education through collaboration with families, partner agencies and providers and improving access to coordinated on-going comprehensive care within a medical home.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is partnering with youth and families, healthcare systems and providers, community agencies, universities, medical societies and other state agencies to build capacity across Georgia to:

  • Develop guidance and tools that can be used by youth, families, education professionals, medical and service providers;
  • Enhance capacity and leadership of youth and families to serve as advocates and mentor others;
  • Incorporate/enhance health care transition activities into existing transition program planning across agencies;
  • Establish health care transition standards.

According to the 2009-10 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs; only 41% of our Nation’s youth successfully transition to adult care and in Georgia the rate is 37%.  Health care professionals, youth and families each have essential roles to play in improving a youth or young adult's transition from pediatric to adult health care. Positive transitions begin when youth and families are prepared for change and when pediatricians and adult primary care professionals have access to tools and concrete methods to address barriers and improve care for youth and young adults. Health care transitions can be facilitated in a medical home. A medical home is a community-based primary care setting which provides and coordinates high quality, planned, family-centered health promotion, acute illness care, and chronic condition management - across the lifespan.

Projects and Activities

  • Provide leadership training opportunities for youth with special needs to be mentors to other youth in transition across Georgia.
  • Facilitate the replication of the Adolescent to Adult Sickle Cell Disease Transition Program, located at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center - Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta program model in area hospitals to provide transition planning and support services for pediatric chronic disease populations.
  • Develop and make available guidance materials for families, public health workers, physicians and healthcare professionals on transitioning youth with special needs to adult health care.
  • Provide trainings for youth, families, educators, and health care providers on topics such as preparing for higher education or vocational training, independent living, supported employment, recreation and leisure, and how to integrate health goals onto Individualized Education Programs.
  • Coordinate youth and family participation in the transition planning and training process and dissemi­nate information on transition, with focus on medical home, to individuals requiring services.

Contact Information

State Office:
Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs (CYSHN)
2 Peachtree Street NW, 11th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-657-2762