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Kansas University Center for Developmental Disabilities

Reducing Heath Disparities


The KUCDD operates 39 projects engaging in activities to address health-related issues for people with intellectual disabilities and to address health disparities for children and their families.

The primary means by which interdisciplinary pre-service preparation is conducted is through the Kansas LEND program, operated by faculty at the KUCDD-KansasCity site, located at the University Of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC). The Child Health and Development Center, directed by Matt Reese, provides clinical services to children with developmental disabilities and operates the Kansas LEND Program.

Faculty at the CHDC have been successful in recruiting long-term trainees from 10 core disciplines. The leadership training for long-term trainees has A physician and trainees examine a boy.consisted of two core courses: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Developmental Disabilities and Service System/Consumer Issues in Developmental Disabilities. Topics in these core courses have been linked to practicum exercises that have included providing interdisciplinary services to consumers with different types of neurodevelopmental problems, working in a variety of health-related environments, participating on interdisciplinary teams, leading the interdisciplinary team, case coordination and management, conducting research/program evaluation, providing consultation/technical assistance, participating in agency and interagency decision making, teaching in outreach training settings, and conducting service system and consumer, advocacy projects.

Girl in wheelchair plays a ball game outside.The Children with Special Health Care Needs project directed by Vicki Miller at the CHDC, is a state and federally funded program to provide early identification of children at risk or with disabilities or chronic diseases and to provide diagnostic and treatment services for these children. The CSHCN project provides a multi-disciplinary team which assesses the total needs of the child and meets with children and their families on a regular basis to provide case management services to enable children and their families to maintain their health and functionality. These include clinics held in rural western Kansas on a regular basis. Vicki Miller also directs the Choosing Healthy Alternatives and Maintaining Positive Self-Image project, which is engaged in research, training, and assistance to support children with disabilities to combat obesity.

The KUCDD Kansas City site also partners with the Parsons site to conduct multiple telemedicine activities, including providing diagnostic and screening services throughout the state via telemedicine.

Faculty at both the CHDC at the KUMC and the Juniper Gardens Children's Project, headed by Charles Smiling girl with missing teeth.Greenwood, have launched an exciting initiative to create a Children’s Campus in Kansas City, Kansas (where KUMC and the KUCDD Kansas City and Juniper Gardens are located, an area serving people who are disproportionately persons of color and poor). The Children's Campus will be built in an area in which children frequently enter school significantly behind classmates in other areas of the state. The campus will be a place where families come together for-education, primary health care, resource counseling, creative and artistic endeavors, and to learn basic skills to support themselves.

A final project meeting this goal operated from the Parsons KUCDD site is the Vision Screening and Assessment for People with DD project directed by Pam Cress. The project provides training and technical assistance to agencies and individuals throughout the state and nation on state-of-the-art techniques for screening infants, toddlers, children, and adults with developmental disabilities for vision problems.