GOBHI’s Early Childhood Program
Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI) partners with MODA Health for Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO) and CareOregon for Columbia Pacific Care Coordinated Organization (CPCCO) to provide managed care, staff support, data, and resources to rural and frontier clinics that provide physical and mental health services to very young children and their families. Both CCO partner with oral health providers located throughout the region who provide quality dental care to children that are on the Oregon Health Plan.
GOBHI staff dedicate their time and efforts to strengthen partnerships with rural community Early Learning Hub leaders, Head Start providers, educators, Department of Human Services staff, social workers, mental health clinicians, primary care providers, dental health managers, foster parents, and other community partners to promote community health concerns that have the greatest impact on young children.
Early Childhood Prevention/Promotion is a priority in the Regional Community Health Improvement Plan (RCHIP) which outlines the following objectives and strategies throughout the 12 EOCCO counties that include: improving the health outcomes for children ages 0-5 through integrated services, improving developmental screening rates for children ages 0-36 months, increasing prenatal care, increasing immunization rates, and providing enhanced alignment between public health services and EOCCO activities for population health management with focus on programs and services that are provided to children and their families.
Education & Development
GOBHI supports on-going workforce development through one-on-one clinic and agency contact, semi-annual Eastern Oregon Behavioral Health and Education Summits, GOBHI’s annual Spring Conference, Oregon Pediatric Society clinic trainings, Oregon Health Authority trainings and webinars, EOCCO Transformation Grants, Eastern Oregon Healthy Living Alliance non-profit grant funding, and local CAC metrics funds. In addition, there are numerous community projects that are sponsored with matching funds and designed to improve health care opportunities to our youngest population throughout the counties served by the CCOs.
Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. partners with organizations such as the ChildTrauma Academy, founded by Dr. Bruce Perry and the National Council for Behavioral Health to advance understanding of evidence-based research regarding brain development and the effects of trauma to very young children. Child-Parent Psychotherapy focuses on young witnesses of family violence and experiences of traumatic events. Clinicians are trained through an 18-month learning collaborative which is funded by GOBHI, the state and supported by community mental health providers and therapists in private practice. To gain insight into this therapeutic model, please read this clinician’s success story:
…I started accepting clients under the age of two during the summer of last year (2013). My first (client) was a mother of a young infant who was removed by child welfare shortly after birth due to malnutrition. Early in treatment, I met with the mother without the child because we did not have an infant friendly room ready. I began sharing about CPP and told the mother it would be possible for her to bring the daughter to work on their bonding and attachment. We explored her own attachment using the Ghosts in the Nursery tool from the CPP training and from that explored the contrast of love and lack of protection she received from her own parents. Shortly after this she invited her infant daughter to participate in sessions. It initially felt like I was a mother supporting another mother. We talked about the child’s development, the challenge of separation and her pride and frustrations as a mom.
We moved into the infant friendly room in the fall that was equipped with a rocker, a floor mat, and baby friendly toys. I found the mom talking about the baby rather than interacting and enhancing the bond with the baby. I was encouraged through the CPP consult call to begin asking the mother what she thought the baby was feeling. I encouraged the mother to begin naming feelings for her daughter. I began to see increased interaction between mother and baby after this session. Shortly after this session, the mother explored puppets in the room. The mother role played with the dog puppet and the baby would look up at the mother as if to request her to role play with the puppet again. The baby giggled and the mother responded appropriately. The puppets entered the session the following session and the mother pretended to lick the baby’s face with the puppet. I encouraged the mother to take on the role of the puppet by giving kisses to the baby on the cheek to increase contact. She obliged and I began to see how CPP was building this stronger bond as the baby responded to the mother rather than the baby. The mother recently moved to overnight visits with the child and is one step closer to full reunification. I would hope that these moments will only be the start of a lifelong healthy attachment between the mother and child.