Teaming Up for Families

Published on

By Theresa Everline

Teaming Up for Families Children who receive quality early childcare get many long-term benefits. Knowing this, Vanguard, one of the world’s leading investment management companies, is dedicated to supporting innovative programs that help kids thrive during their early years. The Vanguard Strong Start for Kids™ Program has generously helped to fund Children's Hospital of Philadelphia initiatives spanning home visiting services, childcare and early literacy. Its program focuses on improving school readiness for children growing up in high-need areas, and is supported by employee and company commitments, volunteering and other nonfinancial assets.

One innovative program made possible by a grant from the Vanguard Strong Start for KidsTM Program is the Community Clinical Systems Integration (CCSI) initiative. The program tackles this scenario: A new mother in an underserved area receives visits at home from a community nurse. The nurse provides support and works to ensure the child’s positive development by focusing on topics such as nutrition, childcare and healthy relationships. That nurse, though, has no way of easily communicating with the child’s pediatrician, who often addresses the very same topics during newborn and infant well visits. CCSI works to coordinate healthcare between the home and the doctor's office.

“Home visiting nurses have high levels of trust from families, but they are siloed,” explains Tara Dechert, MS, a project director at PolicyLab, a research center at CHOP.

By building a communication bridge through CCSI, pediatricians receive valuable knowledge they couldn’t previously access.

“This program helped me tailor the visit to the needs and interest of the family,” reports one pediatrician.

“Information from someone who knows the family allowed for more nuanced conversations about the child,” says another.

“CHOP’s CCSI initiative captures the essence of what Vanguard Strong Start for Kids was created to do,” says Aldustus Jordan, head of Community Stewardship at Vanguard. “It takes proven models of care that help children grow, thrive and learn, and incorporates fresh ideas about delivery and coordination to eliminate barriers and improve outcomes for kids.”

CCSI creates benefits beyond improved communication. Early findings show that more mothers of infants in the program are keeping up with their well child visits.

“When we operate as a team,” says Dechert, “we can improve the quality of care for families.”

To learn how you can support this program, contact Meridith Egan at or 614-562-3035.