Patients & Families

“Our practice is a safe haven for us.” – Donna Wolf, Parent Partner

A Medical Home fosters partnerships with patients and their families in a trusting, compassionate and respectful manner. Family and patient involvement and feedback is critical to the implementation and growth of any medical home.

A medical home practice:

- Encourages communication and respect between families and practice staff
- Respects a family’s cultural, religious, and personal preferences for treatment
- Recognizes families as the center of strength and support for children
- Helps you plan your child’s care, including transition to adult care
- Connects you with community resources that benefit your family 

Parent Partners

Parent Partners are a vital part of the medical home team. They offer providers a window into the patient and family's experience at a pediatric practice, and can help improve services for patients with and without special healthcare needs. One of PA MHI's pediatricians said it best:

"Parent Partners have revolutionized our practice. They provide an insight that is sometimes lost in everyday goings-on in the practice. They have brought in resources and they have become mentors to each other. Some of our Parent Partners are now advocates in the community." (Ray Hubbard, MD, Reading)

Practices that participate in PA MHI are encouraged to foster parent partner groups that meet regularly to advise practice staff and leadership on improvement strategies. Established Parent Partner groups sometimes decide to take on improvement projects with minimal assistance from the practice. For example, Parent Partner groups have: 

- Composed a letter of support that could be utilized by the practice when parents have a child who is newly diagnosed with a special health care need.
- Sent a letter to hospital network administrators, explaining the positive impact that their practice's care coordinator had made in the lives of their families.
- Written articles for their practice's newsletter.
- Made their phone or email contact information directly available to other parents in the practice to provide peer-to-peer support.

To discover more resources and information about parent partners, take a look at the Parent Partner Guide from the National Center for Medical Home Implementation.

Especially for Parents Monograph

This story was printed in Exceptional Parent magazine in a chapter format over nine issues. It was written to illustrate the medical home model of care. A medical home is described by the American Academy of Pediatrics as “a model of delivering primary care that is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective.”

In the story, we meet a fictional couple, Amita and Samir, and their daughter Anjali. Anjali was born 11 weeks premature. She has some health complications from her early birth. In the early chapters, Anjali’s parents learn how to care for their daughter with special needs. Amita and Samir discover ways to partner with Anjali’s caregivers, to link with community resources, and to advocate for their daughter. As readers, we accompany Anjali from childhood to young adulthood. Along the way, we see how valuable the medical home model is for this family. We see Anjali grow from being the recipient of care arranged by others to becoming her own health care decision maker.

Each chapter was written as a collaborative effort with medical home experts from around the country. Sidebars provide relevant information on resources, websites, and organizations throughout the story. We hope that you enjoy spending time with Anjali and her family and learning about the value of Medical Home.

Downloadable Resource(s): ESP Monograph

Join the Facebook group!

The PA Medical Home Initiative invites parents and caregivers of children with special health care needs to join our private Facebook group. This community was designed with the belief that parents are experts who have valuable insights and information to share. There are many reasons to join this community:  

- Stay “in the loop.” Keep up-to-date on the latest information or let others know about new developments.
- Help other community members.
- Connect with experienced care coordinators from across the state.
- Get involved in advocacy! Let us bring your questions and concerns to our partners in Harrisburg.
- Get in touch with parent professionals.

This is an invitation for parents of children and youth with special health care needs to join the “Especially for Parents & Caregivers” Facebook group.

There are two ways for you to join: 

- Search for “Especially for Parents” in your Facebook search bar, then click “Find all groups named ‘especially for parents’.” You should see our group appear.
- Email us at and request an invitation! Be sure to contact us using the same email address that you use for Facebook.

Medical Practice Nomination by Parent/Guardian

The Medical Home Initiative wants to hear from families about their experience with their child’s medical practice. Do you have a medical provider that you feel provides exceptional care for your child?  Do you want to make sure your medical practice is part of the PA Medical Home network? Complete the nomination form below.  We’ll take it from there!”

Nomination Form

Nomination Type

May we tell the practice that you nominated them to join the PA Medical Home Initiative?