Last Thursday, visitors from Anchorage arrived in Nome to present a new outreach program called Help Me Grow, aimed at preventing adverse childhood experiences in Alaska. Help Me Grow is a nonprofit organization currently active in 25 states, which uses a simple solution that builds on existing resources to identify at-risk children and help their families connect with services.
Dr. Matt Hirschfeld from the Alaska Native Medical Center, Jimael Johnson of the Department of Health and Social Services and Tamar Ben-Yosef of the All Alaska Pediatric Partnership presented “The Economics of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Alaska & The Role of Help Me Grow” at the Kegoayah Kozga Library on April 6.
The Help Me Grow system will be implemented across the state with help of funding from a federal grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration for the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Project, or ECCS. Nome will be a pilot community for the new program, along with Kodiak and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.
In Nome, Megan Timm, CAMP Manager at Norton Sound Regional Health, along with ECCS Coordinator, Theo Heihn, will spearhead the program. Timm explained how they would be coordinating with local organizations to collect as much information as possible. “We are not trying to create more services, but create better glue,” Timm said. The hope is to have an expansive local database, where all available services for children and families are listed in one convenient place.
“The key is to really leverage the local resources that we have,” explained Tamar Ben-Yosef during her presentation. Ben-Yosef is the…
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