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NC Peds News Net -- May 2019

Tuesday, May 28, 2019  
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NCPeds News Net
May 2019


May is National Foster Care Awareness Month

Since 2014, NCPeds has been working with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Fostering Health NC (FHNC), an initiative which seeks to ensure foster children and youth are linked to strong, trauma-informed care in medical homes throughout the state. FHNC is one of only fourstatewide medical home models recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Because of the trauma that children experience that leads to removal from the home, they are at an increased risk for poor health outcomes and/or chronic medical conditions.Due to these health needs, the AAP notes more frequent provider visits and other care are required to ensure their physical, social-emotional, and developmental needs are met.

Despite these challenges, North Carolina data shows that children in foster care are more likely to be immunized and to receive well-child checks and an annual dental visit, than other children insured through Medicaid.

Staffed out of NCPeds, FHNC state-level work is guided by an Advisory Team of state and local experts,former foster youth and others. Many resources, including billing and coding guidance, help for foster parents and guidance to local departments of social services (DSS), are available in the Fostering Health NC library. At the local level, FHNC works with primary care providers, local DSS and various other stakeholders.

Dr. Lindsay Terrell from the Duke Foster Care Clinic which is housed in the Duke Child Abuse and Neglect Medical Evaluation Clinic (CANMEC) shared that the FHNC collaboration has been beneficial in Durham County.The clinic providers meet with members of Durham County DSS, FHNC, Care Coordination for Children (CC4C), Northern Piedmont Community Care, and Alliance Health every other month to discuss efforts to improve coordination of medical care for children in foster care.These meetings have been key in promoting teamwork, communication, and improving processes.

Dr. Terrell shared a case in which the AAP guidelines promoted by FHNC were particularly helpful involving an infant with multiple risk factors and medical concernswho was placed in DSS custody. Committed to providing the best care possible, the DSS worker and foster parents coordinated with CANMEC staff to schedule an initial foster care visit as soon as possible. In reviewing the child’s records, the Duke Foster Care Clinic discovered a condition for which no specialist referral had been made.The clinic was able to assist in getting them scheduled to see the specialist in a timely fashion and provide information for local resources to begin to address their concerns.The foster family expressed how supported they felt due to the finding of the specific conditions and the resources they were offered.

Contact Christy Street at to learn more about FHNC and to schedule a training for your staff.




White Coat Wednesday

On May 15, we gathered at the North Carolina General Assembly for a day of advocacy where we spoke directly with our legislators and Governor Cooper about the issues affecting the health of children and adolescents statewide.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and made the day a success!


Meet NCPeds' Members
Gerri Mattson, MD, MSPH, FAAP
NCPeds Board Relations and
Fostering Health NC Advisory Committees

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Gerri Mattson, MD, MSPH, FAAP, knows the important role that public health plays in building, maintaining and assuring access to systems of care that optimize the health and well-being of children and their families. She has devoted her career to partnering with North Carolina’s families and children to learn about, access, and use a variety of resources to help them to be healthy and strong.


She currently serves as Pediatric Medical Consultant in the Children and Youth Branch of the N.C. Division of Public Health in the Women’s and Children’s Health Section.


She provides regular trainings and technical assistance about Bright Futures recommendations, which represent a national standard for preventive health services for children and adolescents. She has also been essential to the inception and implementation of Fostering Health NC (FHNC), an initiative of NCPeds which helps to establish and support medical homes for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults in foster care. In her role, she has helped to highlight the importance of health care transition with youth in foster care and to connect the FHNC program with a variety of external partners.


“I stay in NC because of the strong leadership and collaborative culture in the pediatric community,” Gerri said.“The NC Pediatric Society has a strong commitment to the health of children. NCPeds has been vital for many child advocacy efforts including early childhood, access to care, adolescent health, mental health and newborn screening.”


Gerri’s love of pediatrics began 27 years ago when she began her field placement in medical school in Abingdon, Va.


She has been a member of NCPeds since 2005 and has been active in numerous NCPeds committees including Board Development, Membership and Strategic Planning. She is always facilitating connections, communications and collaborations between public health and pediatricians.She has been able to accomplish some of this as a regular presenter at NCPeds open forums and annual meetings over the years. She tries to stay in regular communication with NCPeds and pediatricians across the state about numerous public health topics including plan of safe care for substance affected infants and their families, school health assessments, newborn screening and follow-up, and immunizations.


“I enjoy being able to to partner with families to help improve the health of individual children and also to work on implementation of programs to improve the health of communities,” she said. “I particularly enjoy finding ways to work with adolescents and learning how to celebrate their strengths and talents.”


Gerri lives in Chapel Hill with her family. Outside of the office, you can find her enjoying a quick trip to one of North Carolina’s beaches or kayaking on Jordan Lake.


Is your email inbox overflowing? Did you know you can customize your email settings in your NCPeds member account?

Follow these steps to manage your account settings:

Log in to your membership account and select "Edit Bio" under “Manage Profile."

Under “Account Information” find the fifth item down, which is labeled “Email Preference.”

Click on the hyperlinked “Manage Email Preferences” and a pop-up box will appear. In the pop-up box, you can review the types of emails NCPeds sends and select the topics of interest to you.

The email categories are:

  • General Correspondence
  • Group Communications
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Customizing your email preferences will ensure you receive emails in areas of interest to you.

Thank you!




Dates to Remember

Mark your calendars for these upcoming NCPeds events.

  • 2019 Annual Meeting, Friday, August 16 - Sunday, August 18, 2019 at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville


Contact NCPeds



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