Briefs & Reports

Iowa’s 1st Five Initiative: Improving Early Childhood Developmental Services Through Public_Private Partnerships

The Commonwealth Fund

Sharon Silow-Carroll

This report profiles the Iowa Department of Public Health’s 1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative, which is bridging public and private health care systems to improve early detection of social_emotional delays and prevention of mental health problems among young children and their families. Key features of the 1st Five model include: user-friendly mental and developmental health screening and referral forms; ongoing education and support for medical office staff on healthy development and use of screening and referral tools; specially trained care coordinators to identify and address a wide range of children’s and families’ needs; relationships with community resources that provide early intervention; and timely notification of outcomes to the referring physician offices.