This free, award-winning program gives families the resources, information and support to make the best choices for their children on a day-to-day basis and to help children develop good lifelong health habits. Created with the primary care pediatricians at Stony Brook Children’s, the service involves home visits by a trusted program representative called a community health worker. The community health worker visits serve as an extension of the pediatrician’s office. For families, this program offers the convenience of meeting in the privacy of the home to address any questions or concerns they may have related to their child’s health and well-being.
The community health worker’s visits are targeted in three specific areas:
- Newborn care, which involves frequent visits during the first two months when many parents often request support.
- Well child/adolescent care, that includes topics such as immunizations, developing healthy habits, preventing disease, navigating the health care system, and building an effective relationship with the pediatrician.
- Management of chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes or obesity, that includes assistance with understanding how to use recommended medicines, when to call the doctor, and the management of the many ongoing appointments that children with chronic diseases often need.
What to Expect
Because the program is an outreach service, participation in Keeping Families Healthy starts with a call from our program coordinator who also works with the family’s pediatrician’s office to assign a community health worker to make home visits.
At the first meeting, the community health worker and family together complete a basic health screening tool and parents ask any questions they may have about their child’s health. Depending on what each family needs, the community health worker can:
- Answer questions about vaccinations and well-visit (“check-up”) schedules
- Assist in coordinating multiple appointments or set up a schedule of visits
- Help make follow-up appointments with the doctor
- Check-in by phone
- Follow up after a doctor visit to make sure families have what they need
- Connect families with resources in the Stony Brook Medicine system or in the community
- Provide reliable health and wellness information
- Help with any additional questions
Are Services Available in Languages other than English?
Some of our Community Health Workers (CHWs) speak Spanish and educational materials are available in Spanish. CHWs have access to telephonic interpretation for languages other than Spanish and help families learn ways to overcome language barriers.
Should assistance in Spanish be required, please contact: (631) 521-6299.
For more information, please ask your child's Stony Brook Children's doctor or contact Dr. Susmita Pati at (631) 638-3082.