State and local health and human service agencies: administer the state component of key government health programs (eg, Medicaid and SCHIP) as well as state-only sponsored health programs. These agencies typically coordinate outreach and enrollment activity for health-related programs.
National Association of Community Health Centers: the national trade association of nonprofit clinics that provide free health care and/or low-cost health services to medically underserved populations.
Vaccines for Children program (VFC): a federally funded program that provides free vaccines to eligible (traditional and safety net) health care professionals for the purpose of immunizing children and youth who are uninsured, enrolled in Medicaid, or participating in Indian Health Service programs. Each state or region has a designated VFC coordinator who can be identified through the appropriate health and human service agency.
Resources that establish standards for health care
AAP: a professional association of pediatricians in the United States. The AAP establishes the basic content and periodicity of well-child (health supervision) visits, develops policies regarding the provision of health care to all children, and administers programs to expand access to care for underserved populations (eg, the Breastfeeding Promotion in Pediatric Office Practices Program II, the Community Access to Child Health program, and the Healthy Tomorrows Partnerships for Children program). A set of resources for child health care professionals titled Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 2nd edition, is available through the AAP; and Guidelines for the Care of Migrant Farmworkers’ Children was published by the AAP in 2000.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: the lead federal agency responsible for the health and safety of the population. It provides grants to support the development of health promotion and disease-prevention programs and related research, establishes guidelines and credible information for the prevention and treatment of numerous infectious diseases (including immunization standards), and provides national focus for health promotion and education activities.
United States Department of Agriculture: administers a number of food and nutrition services for vulnerable populations, including the federal food stamp program, the emergency food assistance program, national school nutrition program, and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs, as well as a number of housing programs for rural families.
WIC: provides vouchers for specific supplemental foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health care and social service agencies for low-income women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age who are at nutritional risk.
National School Lunch program and School Breakfast program: provide free breakfast and lunch to school-aged children in families with incomes less than 130% of the federal poverty line and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch to school-aged children in families with incomes between 130% and 185% of the federal poverty line.
US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): administers public housing programs, which provide subsidized housing for indigent families. Local public housing authorities are available through the HUD Web site.
Office of Family Assistance: located within the US Department of Health and Human Services and administers the federal component of several cash and employment assistance programs for low-income children and their families. These services include the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program and the Earned Income Tax Credit program.
A variety of public-interest law programs have been established to provide free or low-cost legal services, policy analysis and advocacy, technical assistance, and training on behalf of individuals and/or segments of vulnerable populations. These programs use the law to protect vulnerable populations from the harms caused by poverty, immigrant status, and other vulnerabilities.
These resources are provided to assist the pediatrician in addressing the health needs and basic subsistence needs of children and families who are poor and underserved. These resources are not intended to be comprehensive but include a representation of key government and nonprofit programs and services for these populations.