AMCHP Awards Nearly $2 Million in CARES Act Funding to 21 MCH Agencies for Telehealth Work
November 01, 2020

Following a request for proposal, AMCHP has made 21 awards totaling nearly $2 million to state, territorial, and tribal MCH agencies to implement telehealth programs during the ongoing pandemic. The awards are funded by a recent grant from HRSA as part of the CARES Act Covid-19 pandemic response and will directly improve the experience of the families being served through telehealth, by expanding services to those who previously could not access it or by easing barriers to access within communities.

Learn more about the funded projects below:


Lead Agency: Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

Family Engagement Partner(s): Stone Soup Group

Project Aims: Work with a “Futures Without Violence” facilitator to develop real-time learning sessions to train home visitors on screening for intimate partner violence (IPV) during virtual visits and managing stress as front-line workers. Develop an educational video aimed at increasing provider knowledge of newborn screening (Newborn Bloodspot Screening, EHDI, and Critical Congenital Heart Defects) and the role of providers in screening.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN, NBS

American Samoa

Lead Agency: American Samoa Department of Health

Family Engagement Partner(s): Family Voices

Project Aims: Suicide has recently become a crisis in American Samoa among adolescents and young adults. This project aims to implement community-based telehealth services for the at-risk population, families, and others who may respond to these situations, and improve professional development among mental health and behavioral health specialists.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN


Lead Agency: EAR Foundation Arizona

Family Engagement Partner(s): Arizona Hands & Voices

Project Aims: Provide technology to families located in remote or tribal regions of the state to connect them with health and screening services. Expand tele-audiology services to enhance the quality, frequency, and accessibility of services to families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Focus Area(s): EHDI


Lead Agency: Connecticut Newborn Diagnosis and Treatment Network

Family Engagement Partner(s): PATH Parent to Parent, Family Voices of Connecticut

Project Aims: Increase access to telehealth visits for families in the pre-diagnosis phase to encourage prompt follow up. Expand access to genetic counseling services for families affected by NBS. Build and train a group of family leaders to advise on on improving outreach and materials to better serve families and communities of color.

Focus Area(s): NBS

Federated States of Micronesia

Lead Agency: Federated States of Micronesia EHDI

Family Engagement Partner(s): Local Family Leaders

Project Aims: Provide tele-audiology equipment and train providers on island states of Yap, Pohnpei, and Chuuk. Provide tablets to families of children with hearing loss and concomitant disabilities to access direct speech and language therapy, early intervention services, and applications to engage children at home. Train parents and families in telehealth best practices and tablet use.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN, EHDI


Lead Agency: Georgia Department of Public Health

Family Engagement Partner(s): Parent to Parent of Georgia, Georgia Hands & Voices

Project Aims: Provide tele-audiology equipment to a health department in a rural community to connect families with a pediatric audiologist in Atlanta and facilitate more timely access to diagnostic services for infant. Equip health district offices outside the Atlanta-Metro area with devices for families to access MCH services via telehealth. Provide mobile hotspots to families in rural communities to facilitate access to services.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN, EHDI


Lead Agency: University of Guam CEDDERS

Family Engagement Partner(s): Guam’s Positive Parents Together, Inc.

Project Aims: Provide telehealth visits to all infants in need of follow-up hearing rescreens via Zoom virtual platform. Provide tablets and mobile hotspot devices to families of newly identified deaf or hard of hearing infants to ensure that families are equipped with the necessary hardware and software to receive services such as audiologist consultations, speech-language therapy, virtual home visits, and family support meetings. Customize a 20-foot container to serve as a mobile Disability Service Center that provides resources and services to families in rural areas.

Focus Area(s): EHDI

Hawaii, California, Washington, Idaho

Lead Agency: Western States Regional Genetics Network

Family Engagement Partner(s): Hilopa’a Family to Family, Inc., Family to Family Health Information Center of Washington at PAVE, Family Voices of California, Idaho Parents Unlimited

Project Aims: Redevelop print resources and an accompanying “What to Expect from a Telehealth Visit” video (now available in English and Spanish) in American Sign Language, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Samoan. Work with Family to Family Health Information Centers to develop telehealth training modules for family advocates to provide to families accessing telehealth and telegenetics services.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN, NBS


Lead Agency: Iowa Department of Public Health and Human Services

Family Engagement Partner(s): CYSHCN Family Navigator Network, Family Advisory Council

Project Aims: Provide access to telehealth services for Title V MCH and CYSHCN clients and families receiving family support services for newborn screening. Expand existing Phones for Families program to distribute additional smart phones and pre-paid talk, text, and data plans to families without access to devices and/or connectivity for virtual visits.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN


Lead Agency: Kentucky Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs (OCSHCN)

Family Engagement Partner(s): Kentucky Family to Family Health Information Centers, OCSHCN Youth Advisory Council

Project Aims: Expand access to existing telehealth services, improve quality of services provided, equip families with generalizable teleservices skills. Create a “technology lending library” of laptops, tablets, and cell phones available to families receiving CYSHCN services via mail. Develop family trainings and educational content to be pre-loaded onto devices on how to utilize the equipment, what to expect from telehealth visits, best practices, etc.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN


Lead Agency: Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Family Engagement Partner(s): Federation for Children with Special Needs (F2F)

Project Aims: Establish a hub and spoke model in which community providers in the Southeast region of the state are equipped and trained to facilitate hearing screenings on-site, while Boston Children’s Hospital Audiological Diagnostic Center performs the testing, assesses patients, explains test results, and counsels remotely via telehealth. Implement community-based kiosks in Lawrence, MA for families of children from birth to elementary school, including those with medical complexity, to access telehealth services.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN, EHDI


Lead Agency: Nevada Department of Health and Human Services

Family Engagement Partner(s): Family TIES of Nevada (F2F)

Project Aims: Implement an obstetric care telehealth pilot for pregnant women in Nevada who face geographic, economic, or residency status barriers to accessing prenatal care. Provide tablets, data plans, fetal heart rate monitors, and blood pressure monitoring devices to participating women to video conference with medical providers and receive accessible, culturally relevant training resources.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN

New Jersey

Lead Agency: New Jersey Department of Health

Family Engagement Partner(s): SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (F2F)

Project Aims: Expand availability and accessibility of MCH telehealth services by increasing the weekly hours mental health services are available via telehealth and increasing the number and variety of virtual family programs and group support. Train family leaders to provide trainings, workshops, and 1:1 instruction to families using telehealth to ensure they are able to make the most of telehealth appointments and virtual wellness offerings.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN

New Mexico

Lead Agency: New Mexico Department of Health

Family Engagement Partner(s): Parents Reaching Out (F2F)

Project Aims: Implement a CYSHCN telehealth program in which families can video conference with specialists by visiting their local public health office or being provided with a loaner laptop or pre-paid phone card. Develop a Project ECHO case consultation with social workers and partners to present challenging cases to an expert panel and problem solve barriers in accessing care. Implement tele-audiology services in Grants and Gallup to ease the ability to reduce the high percentage of infants lost to follow up.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN, EHDI


Lead Agency: Oregon Health Authority

Family Engagement Partner(s): Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center, Oregon Chapter of Hands & Voices

Project Aims: Provide telehealth equipment and coaching to primary care providers, public health nurses, and birth facilities to develop and enhance skill in performing hearing screenings, results counseling, care coordination, and interpretation virtually. Partner with community-based organizations and family partners to understand and address family barriers to engaging in telehealth services.

Focus Area(s): EHDI

Pueblo of San Felipe

Lead Agency: Pueblo of San Felipe

Family Engagement Partner(s): Local Family Leaders

Project Aims: Provide tablets and internet service plans to enrolled home visiting families to receive virtual services. Work with a consultant to provide training on virtual reflective supervision and best practices for virtual home visits to home visitors.

Focus Area(s): MIECHV

Puerto Rico

Lead Agency: Universidad de Puerto Rico

Family Engagement Partner(s): Puerto Rico Family to Family Center

Project Aims: Establish a telehealth program to provide prompt follow-up to patients identified by NBS in circumstances in which in-person evaluation is not possible. Provide devices loaded with telehealth software to families and clinicians to allow infants to be evaluated via video conferencing from their home or a nearby designated medical center. Expand capacity of medical centers to collaborate with other specialists in Puerto Rico and those in the United States to support children identified by the NBS program.

Focus Area(s): NBS

Rhode Island

Lead Agency: Rhode Island Department of Health

Family Engagement Partner(s): Rhode Island Parent Information Network, Rhode Island Hands & Voices

Project Aims: Provide tablets and mobile hotspots to families with inconsistent internet access to receive telehealth services such as tele-audiology, home visiting, or early intervention and connect to peer support. Implement a two-month virtual retreat for families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing with informational seminars and social activities. Provide home visiting teams with breastfeeding dolls to demonstrate effective breastfeeding and safe sleep techniques virtually.

Focus Area(s): EHDI

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

Lead Agency: Turtle Mountain Tribal Home Visiting Program

Family Engagement Partner(s): Local Family Leaders

Project Aims: Provide smartphones and/or service plans to families enrolled in home visiting to access virtual visits and peer support. Expand telehealth capacity to include synchronous video conferencing and instruction. Produce educational videos on health and safety to stream on monthly video conferences with home visiting families.

Focus Area(s): MIECHV


Lead Agency: Utah Department of Health

Family Engagement Partner(s): Utah Parent Center (F2F)

Project Aims: Create a lending library of laptops and mobile hotspots to be available to families who would benefit from access to primary or specialty care, early intervention, or care coordination services via telehealth. Provide tele-audiology equipment and training to three local health departments to facilitate audiology diagnostic testing and video conferencing between families and audiologists located elsewhere in the state.

Focus Area(s): Title V & CYSHCN, EHDI


Lead Agency: Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Family Engagement Partner(s): Wisconsin Families for Hands & Voices

Project Aims: Provide tele-audiology equipment and training to three Tribal Health Agencies in northern Wisconsin to serve as remote locations for diagnostic testing and ensure families have timely access to screening and diagnosis. Incorporate hearing screenings into six home visiting programs and provide screening devices and audiology training to home visitors.

Focus Area(s): EHDI, MIECHV