Christiana Care Health System has received $10 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for work on heart disease. Researchers at UD are contributing to both this project and a Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children project on childhood asthma.

Health care grants

DHSA partners receive federal funding for heart disease, asthma research

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10:05 a.m., June 21, 2012--Two of the University of Delaware’s partners in the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, Christiana Care Health System (CCHS) and Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, have received funding from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) through the agency’s Health Care Innovation Challenge.

CCHS has been awarded $10 million for a project focused on heart disease, while Nemours has received $3.7 million to investigate childhood asthma. Researchers at UD are contributing to both projects.

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CCHS: Bridging the Divides 

Led by William Weintraub, John H. Ammon Chair of Cardiology, the CCHS team will create and test a system that will use a heart disease “data hub” and case managers to improve care for post-myocardial infarction and revascularization patients, the majority of them Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. 

Christiana will integrate statewide data from the Delaware Health Information Network with cardiac care registries from the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, enabling more effective care/case management through near real-time visibility of patient care events, lab results, and testing.

This innovation will decrease emergency room visits and avoidable readmissions to hospitals and improve interventions and care transitions. 

Nemours: Optimizing Health Outcomes for Children with Asthma

Led by Mary Kate Mouser, executive director of Nemours Health and Prevention Services, Nemours is partnering with public agencies and UD to enhance family-centered health homes by adding services for children with asthma and developing a population health initiative in the neighborhoods surrounding targeted primary care practices. 

The intervention will also increase coordination of services by integrating care with community support services and local government initiatives to provide healthier environments for children with asthma in schools, child care centers, and housing, and by deploying community health workers to serve as patient navigators and provide case management services to families with high needs. 

The goal is to reduce asthma-related emergency room use and asthma-related hospitalization among pediatric Medicaid patients in Delaware by 50 percent by 2015 with incremental declines in 2013 and 2014.

In addition to UD, Nemours is partnering with Delaware Health and Social Services, Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, and Division of Public Health, the South Wilmington Planning Network, Healthy Kids Collaboration in Kent County, Sussex  County Health Promotion Coalition, and United Way of Delaware.

Impact

During the three-year grant period, CCHS will create an estimated 16 health care jobs, including positions for nurse care managers, pharmacists, and social workers; however, the investments made by the grant are expected to generate cost savings beyond the funding period.

The Nemours program will train over 50 workers from the existing and newly hired workforce in both clinic and community settings, developing a close relationship between primary care practices and the surrounding communities. It will create an estimated 16 jobs, including community health workers, licensed mental health professionals, a project director, a certified asthma educator, an organizational development specialist, and an evaluation specialist.

“This is great news for Delaware and for DHSA,” said Karl Steiner, senior associate provost for research development at UD. “Both grants are a direct outcome of the collaborations we have built across the state over the past decade, and they will have significant impact on the health and well-being of Delawareans.”

About the Health Care Innovation Challenge

Through the Health Care Innovation Challenge, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation committed $1 billion in grants to applicants who will implement the most compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people — particularly those with the highest health care needs — enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

About DHSA

The Delaware Health Sciences Alliance was established in 2009 with four founding partners — Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University of Delaware.

The alliance enables partner organizations to collaborate and conduct cutting-edge biomedical research, to improve the health of Delawareans through access to services in the state and region, and to educate the next generation of health care professionals.

DHSA’s unique, broad-based partnership focuses on establishing innovative collaborations among experts in medical education and practice, health economics and policy, population sciences, public health, and biomedical sciences and engineering. For more information, visit the website.

Article by Diane Kukich

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