A Healthier Wisconsin

Growing Rural Health Equity with the Help Me Grow Model

Evaluating methods to effectively identify early childhood development delays in rural communities

Full Project Name:Growing Rural Health Equity with the Help Me Grow ModelPrimary Community Organization:First 5 Fox ValleyPrimary Academic Partner:Jennifer Koop, PhD, NeurologyAward Amount:$200,000
Award Date
Project Duration:18 months

Project Description Narrative:

Parents across Wisconsin want quality healthcare for their children. But in the state's 45 rural counties, lack of physical or financial access to healthcare providers, programs, and resources can create challenging barriers to health equity. The Help Me Grow system model, which leverages existing community resources to develop and improve early childhood care, has been successfully introduced and used in several Fox Valley communities.

In this project, the Help Me Grow model will be implemented within the ThedaCare healthcare system to explore whether it can effectively reduce healthcare disparities and improve outcomes for rural families and communities. An early childhood navigator will be placed within the ThedaCare system, partnering with a Help Me Grow family resource navigator in a local community organization to promote optimal childhood development.

This approach will allow for ongoing collaborations among early childhood service providers. The model will create a more synergistic approach to family healthcare and wellness in the project counties. If it is successful, the project may result in a sustainable Help Me Grow model that removes obstacles to children's healthcare and improves health equity in rural Wisconsin areas.

Community partners: CDC Act Early Ambassador, First 5 Fox Valley, Help Me Grow Wisconsin, ThedaCare

Project Updates:

  • Identified and trained five navigators to support the Help Me Grow program
  • Enrolled 252 families and 310 children in the Help Me Grow program for rural communities
  • Added new rural partners to participate in the Help Me Grow program

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350