Medical Home is a philosophy of health care delivery in which primary care providers are accessible in time and location and that care is comprehensive, continuous, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally competent. SWI developed Medical Homes for children with special health care needs in Arizona and has expanded this model to Indian Health Services and health plans in the southwest region. David Hirsch, MD, MBA is a recognized leader in the medical home movement.
The DOC project was funded by the HRSA Bureau of Maternal and Child Health Division for Children with Special Health Care Needs to prepare parents as community leaders and advocates for their children. Across four years, DOC parents established teams in Ft. Defiance/Window Rock, Chinle, Crownpoint, and Kayenta. Each month families convened meetings in which they used principles of participatory research to identify local issues/problems and identified solutions to improve health and education. In addition to DOC parent groups, youth with special health care needs have formed two groups and networked with the Youth Action Council-AZ to make friends, learn new skills, and become self-advocates. To date, over 150 parents and youth are participating in resource development, child advocacy, and medical home projects, and self-determination on Navajo Nation. Currently, DOC shares offices with the SWI PVIP project for planning and meeting purposes. Future goals for DOC families include becoming a free-standing Parent Information and Referral Network in Indian Country.