The Early Link Podcast

Children's Institute

The Early Link Podcast, brought to you by Children's Institute based in Portland, Oregon, highlights national, regional, and local voices working in the field of early care and education. Written, hosted, and produced by Rafael Otto. read less
EducationEducation

Episodes

Taking Action to Improve Social Emotional Services for Young Children: The Power of Data and Metrics
Jun 13 2023
Taking Action to Improve Social Emotional Services for Young Children: The Power of Data and Metrics
Welcome to The Early Link Podcast. This is a special production created with our colleagues at the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership (OPIP). OPIP is a public private partnership seeking to create a meaningful, long-term collaboration of stakeholders invested in child health care quality, with the common purpose of improving the health of all children and youth in Oregon. This episode explores recent developments in the health sector here in Oregon meant to improve the care for children ages zero to five. One of those developments is a social emotional health metric. This is a tool designed to shift attention to social emotional health services for children from birth to age 5 and help Oregon's Medicaid system focus on prevention and investment in young children, and the health aspects of kindergarten readiness. The other development is a data set known as health complexity data, which pulls together information about a child's medical and social conditions to better understand how systems can meet their needs. If that sounds complex, stay tuned as we break things down. In this episode, we've talked with people in the field who have gotten started using the data to help reshape community level systems so that children and families can get what they need. And some of the most exciting work is taking place where the needs are greatest. That's Douglas County, located in southern Oregon and it covers more than 5,000 square miles, from the Oregon coast reaching inland toward eastern Oregon. The data shows that Douglas County has the most socially complex children in the state, and leaders and community members have pulled together to help the systems evolve to better meet the needs of those children. We wanted to thank our guests: Taylor Dombek, the director of integrated clinical services at Umpqua Health Alliance, Colleen Reuland, the director of the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership, James Lytle and Karra Crane, two parents from Douglas County, Alison Hinson, a counselor with Juniper Tree Counseling in Roseburg, and Robin Hill-Dunbar from The Ford Family Foundation. The development of the social emotional health metric began in 2018 with a partnership between the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership, known to many as OPIP, Children's Institute, and the Oregon Health Authority.
Bridging Gaps and Nurturing Community through Early Learning in Philomath
May 22 2023
Bridging Gaps and Nurturing Community through Early Learning in Philomath
In this episode of the Early Link podcast, Rafael Otto joins Abby Couture and Sunny Bennett, principal and preschool teacher at Clemens Elementary in Philomath. Abby and Sunny discuss their stories of getting started in education as well as the moments they began to realize many children were missing out on early learning experiences. They go on to describe the educational environment in Philomath, where they partner with LBCC and Strengthening Rural Families to provide more opportunities for toddlers and pre-k students. Their preschool program incorporates a unique placement within the primary school, naturally connecting young students to their early elementary progression.   Abby and Sunny also share their positive experience as part of Children's Institute's Early Learning Academy, highlighting the inspiring sense of community, information sharing, and resource recommendations it provided. Participating in the academy empowered them and encouraged Philomath to engage community partners, improve practices, and foster connections among stakeholders. Sunny expressed how each meeting left her feeling empowered and ready to take on the next challenge, always leaving with a positive feeling. As Philomath's early learning journey continues, the two dream of ensuring preschool access for all students in their community. They hope to create a supportive environment where families can thrive and stay connected from the earliest years onward.