L.A. Care Given $1.2 Million Grant for Developmental Screenings for Kids

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the country, announced today that it has been awarded a $1.2 million grant by First 5 LA that is aimed at increasing the number of children who undergo developmental screenings and interventions in Los Angeles County.

"We must make everyone aware of just how important early developmental screenings are, and the impact they have on a child's life. We owe our youngest members of society the best possible start in life," said John Baackes, L.A. Care's CEO.

California ranks 43rd in the United States in conducting developmental screenings for infants and toddlers, with just 21% of children in the state receiving timely developmental screenings for language, movement, thinking, behavior and emotions, according to a statement released by L.A. Care Health Plan and First 5 LA.

The grant is part of "Help Me Grow LA," a four-year pilot program to help resource-strained clinics integrate developmental screenings and monitoring protocols into their workflow.

"L.A. Care and First 5 LA have a long history of working together to support young children and their families, and through this partnership we aim to address these family experiences by improving early identification and intervention standards across all health service sectors, especially in family-serving clinics," said Tara Ficek, First 5 LA's director of health systems.

"Together with L.A. Care, we are committed to changing systems and increasing the countywide impact of Help Me Grow L.A. so that all families in L.A. County have the support they need to help their young children get the best start in life," she said.

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