Raising a child who has a chronic health condition can be very challenging and often overwhelming. Your family deserves understanding, respect and support that addresses your special needs within your own natural environment.
New Hampshire Partners in Health is a community-based, family centered program that addresses the needs of families who have a child (birth to 21) with chronic health conditions. Partners in Health (PiH) will assist you in getting the care and services that your family feels are important. In collaboration with schools, medical providers, churches, social services and other community orginizations, your PiH family support coordinator will work with you to enhance quality of life for your family.
What is a chronic health condition?
A chronic health condition is a health condition that persists for a long time. A chronic health condition is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic health conditions generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear.
Possible chronic health conditions include, but are not limited to:
Your family support coordinator will help you and your family to:
PIH staff also work with other health and human service professionals in order to develop a community support network for your family.
A chronic illness can affect all aspects of a child’s life from school to diet to playing with friends. The degree to which the child is affected depends on the seriousness of the illness. Treatments and medications can make your child feel sick, tire easily, and not want to participate in normal childhood activities.
How you respond to your child and his/her illness will partially determine how your child adjusts and copes. Allowing the child to be as “normal” as possible helps him to adapt to changes that are necessary due to medical/physical limitations. Diet changes may be necessary as well as frequent trips to the doctor or hospital for check-ups and treatments. For the school aged child, talking to the school and developing an IEP or 504 can help your child excel in school.
Siblings and other family members are affected as well. Changes due to the illness can cause strain, stress and jealousy. Family time, finances, attention (or lack of) can all be issues. Surprisingly, many siblings (depending on personality and temperament) do better with ill siblings.They seem to “understand” and have compassion for one another. Helping them to understand the illness and treatments sometimes makes the family members become partners in care as opposed to resenting the impact chronic illness has on everyone.
Families involved with the Partners in Health program have the opportunity to participate in the Family Council, a network of families, much like yours, who can use their unique knowledge and experience to advocate for families who are coping with chronic illness. Together, families are empowered to raise awareness and affect change within their communities.
To make a referral:
Coos County - (603) 788-4172
Sullivan/Grafton Counties - (603) 518-4358
Littleton: (603) 518-4339
Concord: (603) 518-4242
Families with children, ages birth through 21 who have a chronic health condition that is certified by a physician, expected to last for six months or more, and has a significant impact on daily life.
Coos, Sullivan, and Merrimack Counties
The Partners in Health program is made possible by funding from the NH Department of Health and Human Services.
None to Client