Children who have chronic/long term illnesses or severe disabilities have complex needs that can make the healthcare system difficult to navigate. As doctors are traditionally trained to focus only on the medical situation, they may be unaware of the day-to-day issues in the lives of families with children who have significant needs. In 1994, parents in New York State developed Project DOCC (Delivery of Chronic Care) as a family-centered and community-based pediatric training program designed to increase doctors’ awareness and understanding of the complex issues associated with caring for medically involved children.
Train and then match parents with Pediatric and Family Practice Residents to expand doctors’ skills in delivering family-centered care.
The project trained and matched parents with pediatric and family practice residents and other members of the medical community in the Austin, Temple, Fort Worth and Dallas areas. It aimed to help medical professionals gain a comprehensive understanding of the lives of children with chronic illness or developmental disabilities by widening their perspective from hospital/office to the home and community. The project also strived to show the need for a partnership between the physician and family to improve the quality of life and educational opportunities for children.