Posted by Kaitlyn McConnell on Sept. 28, 2017 A woman and child sit together, representing the work Parents as Teachers staff will do.

For decades, Parents as Teachers has served communities through the promotion of optimal early development, learning and health of young children. Now, they’re partnering with CoxHealth to bring those services to patients by embedding Parents as Teachers staff members at the health system’s Northside Pediatrics clinic.

Parents as Teachers professionals will now see patients prior to their well-child checkups at the clinic, and connect them with community resources for additional support if needed. In addition to educating parents on milestones, Parents as Teachers will periodically conduct developmental screenings at the clinic as well.

“The purpose of Parents as Teachers seeing children just before their appointment with a provider is to give real-time information to medical staff. That way, we can improve outcomes for children that may have some developmental delays,” says Brandi Saxton, manager of CoxHealth’s Northside Pediatrics clinic. “By offering two resources at one appointment, this is also great time-saver for our patients.”

Parents as Teachers professionals will evaluate children at 18 months, 3 years and before starting kindergarten. When extra help is needed to meet developmental milestones, they can also facilitate connections in the community for things such as speech and physical therapy.

“Our collaboration with CoxHealth and the Northside Pediatrics clinic will help parents more easily access these important screenings and services that will support their child’s development and readiness to begin kindergarten,” explains Missy Riley, director of Springfield Public Schools early childhood education programs. “Our services include developmental learning activities, developmental screenings, goal-setting guidance to improve parenting behaviors, and community resource connections.”

Services from Parents as Teachers are completely free, and are provided under the Healthy Tomorrows grant with the purpose of integrating services between Parents As Teachers and CoxHealth pediatrics medical providers.

For more information about Parents as Teachers, call 417-523-1160. For more information about CoxHealth’s Northside Pediatrics clinic, call 417-269-8061