Making Families Grand: Meeting Milestones works for all young children | SkyHiNews.com

Making Families Grand: Meeting Milestones works for all young children

Katy Lois, MPH
Health Systems Coordinator, MMI Project Manager

Every parent wants their child to reach their highest potential, so why not create tools to help families achieve this goal? With progress made by the Meeting Milestones Initiative (MMI), it is getting easier and easier for families to make sure young children are developing healthy for their age in Grand County.

MMI is a community-wide project launched to ensure that all Grand County children have the opportunity to achieve maximum success. By creating a unified community process involving all healthcare providers and early childhood programs in the county, families can efficiently connect with local professionals to receive free developmental screenings, customized activities for their children, seamless referrals, and improved communication across Grand County organizations. The current goal for MMI: To make all of this possible from the platform of one free app.

How does this project promote child success, exactly? Since every child learns and grows at a different rate, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is developing typically just by looking at them. Sometimes kids need a boost to maximize their potential, but this boost can only be provided if a screening is performed to detect that a boost would be beneficial. Research shows that early developmental screenings are the most accurate way to identify changes in child development and ensure the best possible outcomes for each child. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every child is screened at least three times by the age of three to best support a child's wellbeing. Developmental screenings can be powerful tools, allowing all experts in a child's life—parents, doctors, and early education providers—to look at the results and talk with real data at their fingertips. Also, when a family screens with the MMI app, they will get customized activity ideas based on a child's results along with access to reports showing a child's results over time.

MMI is expected to benefit the broader community as well as families. Via electronification and the advancement of cross-sector information exchange, the efficiency of the current developmental screening system will increase, saving time and money as a community. Even more important, it will bring Grand County closer to being a community where all children: love learning, have high self-esteem, are ready for school, and succeed in life.

Once fully implemented, Grand County will be the first community in the entire country to innovate in such a way, serving as a national leader in developmental screening systems. So keep your eyes peeled for upcoming MMI activity in the community, and remember that SCREENING MEANS SUCCESS!

MMI is a multi-partner collaborative of comprised of: Grand Beginnings, Grand County Rural Health Network, Patient Tools Inc., Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD), and Horizons Specialized Services. For more information, contact Katy Lois, MMI Project Manager at health@grandbeginnings.org or 970-725-3391.

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