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Pediatrics. 1999 Jun;103(6 Pt 3):1384-93.

Evaluation of the Community Access to Child Health Program.

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  • 1Women's and Children's Health Policy Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



Increasing attention is being focused on the need for pediatricians to promote child health in their respective communities. The objective of this study was to evaluate, retrospectively, the American Academy of Pediatrics' Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Program.


Case studies of 12 Community Pediatric projects in existence from 1989 to 1995 with varying degrees of involvement in the CATCH Program. In-person interviews were conducted with 17 pediatricians, 3 CATCH leaders who were not pediatricians, 27 project advisory committee members, 42 project staff, 47 community partners, 22 public health representatives, and personnel in 13 affiliated institutions.


These projects established or enhanced child health services. Although most pediatricians' interest in community child health preceded CATCH, mentoring, training, and peer support contributed to ongoing involvement. Community factors that facilitated project development included historical collaborative efforts and active public health agencies. However, across sites, significant barriers related to attitude and resource limitations were noted. Attitudinal barriers included both institutional concerns (eg, competition among providers or distrust among community agencies and organizations) and cultural concerns (eg, general negative perceptions of providers about Medicaid beneficiaries or of members of minority population toward medical or government establishments).


In an era of devolution of responsibility to local communities, there are likely to be more opportunities for pediatricians to work with community members to promote child health. Specific strategies should be refined and expanded to support pediatricians' involvement in community-based activities, particularly because it is recognized that insurance alone will not guarantee children's health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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