The mission of the Integrated Services Program is to assist families of children and youth who have special health care needs with coordinated care planning, education and resources in order for them to make informed decisions. This may include primary and special health care, behavioral health, developmental and educational programs, financial support resources and social services that meets their special needs from infancy through the transition to adulthood.
Raising a child is a joy and has its challenges. If your child has special health care needs, that job is even more complex. Navigating the system to ensure your child’s and family’s needs are met can be frustrating and overwhelming.
We are here to partner with families of children and youth with special health care needs to connect and coordinate services which may assist your child's development.
Our services include:
- Referral to resources and support services
- Connecting families to Medicaid, CHIP, Supplemental Security Income and/or health insurance
- Assisting families with organizational needs:
- Establishing a Care Notebook of the child’s specific needs by organizing doctor’s appointments, medications, school plans and resources; and community resources.
- Reviewing results with parents and assisting with concerns as well as highlighting successes.
- Making referrals to appropriate developmental resources as applicable.
- Providing transition-related information, resources, and referral for children with special needs ideally beginning around 12-14 years of age.
- Working with youth throughout the transition period, regardless of age.
- Health care goals
- Life goals
- Family self-sufficiency goals
- Educational developmental goals
- Behavioral/Mental health components
- Transition to adulthood activities
- Evaluating progress toward completing those goals.
Your values and beliefs are important to us. You determine what, when, and how we help you. Some families may only need a few tips or resources. Other families may need more intensive coordination for an extended period of time.
Privacy and confidentiality are paramount as we work together.
Children with special health care needs benefit from a medical home: a source of ongoing routine health care in their community where providers and families work as partners to meet the needs of children and families. A medical home assists in the early identification of special health care needs; provides ongoing primary care; and coordinates with a broad range of other specialty, ancillary, and related services.
Every child should have an opportunity for a medical home. A medical home, in simple terms, is the center of a child’s medical and non-medical care. Ideally, the medical home “…is a cultivated partnership between the patient, family, and primary provider in cooperation with specialists and support from the community.” “The patient/family is the focal point….and the medical home is built around this center.” It provides “accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family centered, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective care.” (HRSA; AAP)
National Center for Medical Home Implementation
Transition to Adulthood
It is important to address needs pertaining to your youth transitioning into the adult world. This can include issues such as independence, education, employment, housing, and health care. Planning can start as early as 12-14 years of age. Our care coordination team can help you with navigating this process.
Our multidisciplinary care coordination team offers a variety of services to help patients and families navigate care for children with special needs. We serve patients from birth to young adulthood. Our focus is to partner with these families and promote a patient and family driven care plan that is closely aligned with the patient’s primary care provider or Medical Home. Once the family is referred to us, we are happy to assist them over the phone and, when possible, meet with them in person to:
- Assist with Medicaid eligibility, benefits and services and SSI eligibilty and determination.
- Coordinate medical, educational, social, behavioral health, specialty and support services and resources.
Services are provided at no cost to the patient/family and the health care provider
Our team of care coordinators would be happy to meet with you to discuss ways we can partner with your office to expand your ability to provide comprehensive care management to children with special health care needs in your practice. While we do not arrange prior authorization for services and/or provide medication management, we are able to ensure ongoing and consistent care management and follow-up for the special needs population within your practice.
Please call us at (801) 584-8246 to discuss ways we can help you..
To make a referral to our program please use one of the following methods:
- Call us at (801) 584-8246
- Email us at email@example.com
- Fax referral to (801) 584-8242
- Care Coordination Referral Form
Eric Christensen, Program Manager (Spanish Speaking)
Eric was born and raised in the Salt Lake area. He lived in Costa Rica for two years where he developed a love for Spanish language and Hispanic people and culture. He graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A in Spanish Language and Literature and completed his Master’s Degree in Public Health at Walden University. Eric has worked in health care administration since 1991 as an eligibility counselor, Baby Your Baby specialist, a program and protocol developer, certification specialist, clinic manager, and program manager. He has worked with perinatal populations, HIV/AIDS patients, emergency 911 paramedics, and children with special health care needs. He thoroughly enjoys partnering with families, children, and youth and helping to find community resources to meet their needs. Eric believes that families are empowered when they are given multiple good options from which they can choose. Eric is the proud father of three young adult children and is married to a wonderful woman who is a school teacher. The past decade has seen the family at the lacrosse field during elementary school, junior high, high school, and college as all three kids (two boys and a girl) play lacrosse. When not at the lacrosse field, Eric enjoys cross country skiing, home improvement, and working in his yard.
Colin Kingsbury, Autism Systems Coordinator
Colin was born and raised in Salt Lake City. He received his Master's of Science degree in Anthropology from the University of Utah in 2011 with a focus on health, stigma and social networks. He has worked with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities for the last 5 years. His previous work experience includes autism prevalence rates, social stigma, HIV and educational outreach. He enjoys working with health and education providers to get families and children with special health care needs the services they need. Colin enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, archery and spending time with his family and his Beagle named Darwin.
Heather Carlson, Registered Nurse / Care Coordinator
Heather has lived in Utah for over twenty years and has been in nursing nearly all of that time. She completed her B.S.N. degree at Westminster College in SLC. She worked at Primary Children’s Medical Center and also in early intervention services. Heather has worked for the Bureau of Children with Special Health Care Needs since 2001, where she says she found her passion in community nursing. She enjoys working as part of a team partnering with families and professionals to coordinate care for children with various special health care needs. She is a strong advocate for families and the children we serve. Heather has a terrific husband and three daughters; identical teen-age twins and a pre-teen. Heather and her family enjoy being outdoors whether it be hiking, biking or just playing outside. Utah is the perfect place for their active lives.
Marilyn Howe, Speech Pathologist / Care Coordinator
Marilyn grew up in Washington, California and Colorado, graduating from high school in rural Colorado. She received her B.S. degree in Communicative Disorders and Preschool Education at the University of Northern Colorado and her M.S. degree in Communicative Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology from Utah State University. Her first career job was on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota at a community residential school. She also worked at several schools in Idaho and Utah as well as 2 private practice clinics. She has been with the Bureau of Children with Special Health Care needs since 1989 providing speech-language assessments and parent consultations with the Child Development Clinic, Neonatal Follow-Up Program, Cleft Palate Clinic, and the Hearing and Speech Services program. Marilyn has always loved working with children and families. She is a strong advocate for empowering parents with information to help their children. She is married to her high-school sweetheart and they are proud parents of three adult children and the very proud grandparents of eight grandchildren, one who has special needs. Family is her passion, which includes researching her family history.
Antonia “Toni” Estrada, Health Specialist / Care Coordinator (Spanish speaking)
Toni was born in Mexico, but was raised in Ogden since the age of two as a part of a large family. She is proud to have become a U.S. Citizen approximately 8 years ago. She has a passion for her community. Since graduating high school, she has worked for community based programs and is very knowledgeable of community resources. She has been a valuable asset in the Ogden Clinic of the Bureau of Children with Special Health Care Needs since 1999. She loves her job and is a strong advocate for children with special needs and the Hispanic community. Toni has a wonderful husband and two amazing daughters. Her family enjoys spending time outdoors. They also love Sunday dinners at home and spending time with their extended family.
Walt Torres, Social Worker / Care Coordinator (Spanish Speaking)
Walt was born and raised in Salt Lake City. He has a Bachelor's degree in Health and a Master's degree in Social Work. He is Licensed as a Certified Social Worker with more than 27 years of experience dedicated to the health and care of families and children. Walt's first job in Social Work was with Child Protective Services. This gave him a variety experiences which included the court system, abuse, neglect and poverty issues. About 2 years later, he joined Children with Special Health Care Needs. He has worked with various clinics that include many different types of disabilities. Walt has consulted and referred families for Social Security (SSI) Benefits, Medicaid, Mental Health issues, Transitioning Needs, Autism/Development Delay Referral, Food/Clothing and Shelter Needs. Walt is the proud parent of 4 children and one grandchild. Some activities that Walt enjoys are Amateur Radio, traveling and cooking.
Amber Nordhagen, Health Specialist/Care Coordinator (Spnish Speaking)
Amber was raised in Salt Lake City but has had the opportunity to live in diverse places such as Hawaii, Argentina and Cambodia in her most recent years. She completed her B.S. in Exercise Science and in 2016 received her Master’s in Public Health from Brigham Young University. Amber has worked with Molina Healthcare providing pharmacy services to individuals and families. She is passionate about health equity and providing the correct resources to improve the health for everyone despite their circumstances. Amber loves playing soccer and has played at competitive levels with the Olympic Development Team and BYU-Hawaii. Besides soccer, she enjoys spending her time outdoors and with her family and friends.
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