Masters Thesis

The outmigration of subspecialized pediatric services from Kern County of California Children’s Service children with special health care needs

The focus of this project is to explore the effects of the outmigration for subspecialized pediatric services from Kern County to outlying counties, such as Los Angeles and Madera, has on the families of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) and California Children’s Service, and recommend the adoption of programs that may improve access to specialized pediatric for the CSHCN. The literature review topics that guided this study: challenges faced by the CSHCN, importance of children’s hospital, health professional shortage area, the push-pull theory to explain the shortage of health professionals in Kern County. In the Spring of 2015, this researcher obtained secondary data from CCS’s outmigration service for analysis. Quantitative data was reviewed and two major themes arose. These themes were: 1) Distances that these families were forced to travel and the impacts it may cause, and 2) The economic cost placed on CCS in order to send the families to the services required. Recommendations were made to Kern County CCS were made to address the outmigration issue and its impacts. The first recommendation focused on utilizing telemedicine to provide a series of specialized pediatric services locally. The second recommendation brought to light a program that Kern County has utilized before, which suggested that the county begins to import medical professionals in order to address the health professional shortage.

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