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Overview of the program

The increasing number of children with chronic illnesses needs to be addressed effectively in order to improve their health and their education. Madison Children’s Hospital (MCH) with the cooperation of the school where these children are studying has developed a program to address this problem. In the coming two years, MCH will identify the children with long illnesses, diagnose their problem, treat them with care, and provide facilities to counter the serious health problems effectively.

MCH will take the financial assistance from National Institute of Health Care which has recently announced its commitment to fund projects that help children’s health. According to Beau Beaulieu, Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University, it’s all about “targeting resources to help resolve local problems deemed to be of critical importance to the welfare of the community. ”( Beau Beaulieu) Assessment The program to address the problem of the increasing number of children with chronic diseases needs to consider factors that influence its success.

Among the factors that influence the program are: the number of suffering children, the nature of their diseases, the required medical facilities, skilled man power and the amount of time and money that need to be spent on the program. The number of children who are suffering from chronic should be identified and the exact number of children who need help is the first step in assessing the problem. The requirement of additional medical professionals including the available doctors and medical staff at MCH is the next important step in assessing the problem. The last and most important thing is the funds available to implement the program.

The availability of funds limits the scope and duration of the program to a great extent. As per the Funding Opportunity announcement, the funding will be for $ 275,000 for a period of two years. It will be given in two installments; the first can exceed 200,000 dollars. It should also be noted while designing the program that the funding will be renewable. Needs and problem statement The increasing number of children with chronic illnesses over the last five years has been seriously affecting their health, schooling, and the financial condition and career advancement of their parents.

Research has revealed that the unmanaged status of the children’s chronic illnesses is primarily responsible for this worsening situation. A well researched and well planned program to address this problem will go a long way in helping the children with chronic diseases and their families. Madison Children’s Hospital with the help of the schools can effectively bring this problem under control. Madison Children’s Hospital following its mission to be the worldwide leader in improving children’s health plans to undertake a program to help the children suffering with chronic illnesses.

The objectives of Madison Children’s Hospital (MCH) strongly support the program’s objective. Program planning The program requires the investment of time, money, the support of staff and volunteers and it requires the help a clear research base, materials, equipment and technology and finally the cooperation and support of the partners. As the time and money have already been decided by the funding organization, the requirement of staff and volunteers has to be taken into consideration. As the program intends to support a number of children suffering form chronic diseases, a thorough research base is essential to cure them perfectly.

The objectives of the program being controlling the chronic diseases among the children and bring them under manageable condition, the program needs to identify the causes behind the spread of chronic diseases among the children, Identification of the reasons for the increasing number of children with chronic diseases has to be ascertained to design a program that can effectively address the problem. The second step is to plan the treatment of the children. It involves careful planning for available manpower to support the program.

The availability of doctors and other medical assistants plays a major role in the effective implementation of the program. MCH has already got a great workforce of experienced doctors and other medical assistants. The additional requirement of doctors and staff has to be planned keeping the number of children affected by the chronic diseases. The next thing is the planning of materials like medicines and items and the supply of the same to the children. In addition to the medicines the children need extra care in the form of nutritious food and hygienic environment.

This has to be planned by taking into account how many children need hospitalization and how many will need just some medical support. The cooperation the school authorities and the support of parents is vital in making this program a great success. The children, who are missing the school as a result of their treatment, should be given additional coaching by the school, so that the children who have been admitted into hospitals or have been out because of their sickness. The additional support extended by school by caring the children with chronic diseases will enhance the results of the program.

The information inputs given by school authorities adds further support to the research team that studies the root causes for the increasing number of children with chronic diseases. The schools can play an important role of providing the data to the research team for studying the causes and for making scientific recommendations to the school on to how to treat and care the affected students. Alternative funding The effective planning of a program requires provision of alternatives. In the absence of a viable alternative, planning can not be effective and program can not be successful.

In the present program of helping the school children with chronic illnesses, MCH is seeking the financial aid of National Institute of Health Care. Its announcement of funding opportunity clearly mentions the objective of the funding. As the Madison Children’s Hospital is also working with the same objective, there will be any problem in getting the fund. However, if it requires generating the funds for such a program, the MCH has to seek the help of the local bodies and voluntary associations and organizations.

Approaching the local Companies will be an excellent alternative, as every company sponsors a welfare program that helps the local community under its Corporate Social Responsibility. Raising some fund as reserve fund will be a safer option in case of emergency and unforeseen conditions. The funds can be raised as charities with the support of voluntary organizations or charities. Implementation The program implementation calls for effective program management. Effective program management includes: 1. Human management, 2. Task management 3. Fiscal management and 4. Risk management.

Each of these are to be managed effectively keeping the objectives of the project. The activities and processes involved in the management of a program can be divided into four categories; human management, task management; fiscal management and risk management. (Martha Nall) Many well planned program fail as a result of poor execution. Implementing the program as designed is essential especially when the funding for the program comes from some outside source. When the program fails in the implementation after getting the funds showing an attractive plan to the sponsoring agency attracts criticism and legal complications.

Strong commitment to implement the planned program plays an important part in making the program successful. There are certain aspects which should be given importance in implementing the program. Providing medical care to the suffering students should be complemented with counseling classes guiding them towards healthy living habits. Educating the children about their health problems is equally important as curing their illnesses. Conducting workshops promoting health care issues is an integral part of the program. Developing new awareness programs and workshops supports the system.

While delivering the services, the need to understand the different aspects of the problem should be given importance. The socio –economic conditions of the family will have a strong impact on the children. Children who are supported by health care program should be treated with care keeping their socio economic background. Sympathetic understanding of their situation leads to better support. Raising the confidence levels of the students suffering from chronic illnesses is of utmost important thing, especially when the illnesses take long time to be cured.

Evaluation Program evaluation is carefully collecting information about a program or some aspect of a program in order to make necessary decisions about the program. (Carter McNamara, 1997), Evaluation of the program is the final and most important of the planning and implementing the program. Evaluation of the program depends much on the data collected while implementing the program. The data gathered during the program provides the necessary inputs for the evaluation process. An objective analysis is an integral part of evaluation process of the program.

Analysis and interpretation of the data provides valuable feedback about the program. The results in the case of this program can be visible as it is treating the ailing students. Treatment of the chronic diseases can be measured. When the illness totally disappears or gets cured it can be said that the result is hundred percent in the case of those who got cured of their illnesses. As it is a measurable thing, the data preparation is easier and it clearly tells whether the program is successful or not. In the absence of measurable data, feedback from the beneficiaries of the program has to be taken.

While evaluating the program, the objectives of the plan are taken as parameters. When the objectives are clearly reached, the program can said to be effective and useful. However, in the case of research programs it is difficult to evaluate its results. As research basically studies the reasons and various factors and prescribes a set of actions to be taken, it can not be evaluated until it is proved that the studies have made an impact on improving the situation. The ultimate test of the program depends on the number of students cured and improvement in the school attendance and in the performance of the students.

Non occurrence of the diseases is a sure sign of effective preventive methods used in the program. The general health and happiness of the students and their improved performance in their studies reflect the success of the program. References Beau Beaulieu http://www. ca. uky. edu/AgPSD/progimp. pdf Martha Nall, Program implementation http://www. ca. uky. edu/AgPSD/progimp. pdf McNamara Carter, (1997) Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation. http://managementhelp. org/evaluatn/fnl_eval. htm

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