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Eastern Shore Families Report Need for Services Closer to Home

Distance Traveled

Data from the 2014 Maryland Parent Survey reflect that families in Southern, Western, and Eastern regions of the state typically travel more than 50 miles to have their child see a specialist.

As reported in a previous issue, MCDD has entered into a partnership agreement with Kinera Foundation, a family-led non-profit advocacy organization on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that connects families of children with disabilities. Through the project, the partners share data from families in the Kinera network looking to achieve goals related to full community inclusion and participation for their children. Christy Russell, founder and executive director of Kinera, reports that families are eager to participate and have their voices heard.

Christy stated, “Parents are telling us that there is a significant lack of services provided in the Eastern Shore Region, as compared with other, more urbanized regions in the State. The Kinera Foundation Eastern Shore Regional Hub will provide a multitude of services in a central location, to ensure that families are able to receive services within the region they reside in and in a family-centered, coordinated, and collaborative environment that meets the needs of their child with a special health care need.”

Kinera has created an Eastern Shore–based hub where families can go to receive coordinated services in one place. “Families are thrilled at the prospect at having services closer to home and in a central location on the Shore. We’re hearing that the need for a family-friendly atmosphere and a resource center are top priorities,” Russell added. Chris Smith, MCDD director, said, “The Kinera partnership aligns with our mission by creating a model for an integrated service, training, and research hub that not only serves families, but that also provides new multidisciplinary learning opportunities for trainees and professionals.”

MCDD Newsletter 2016: Issue Two