Guests and Building Strong Family Clinic team members mingle at the open house on September 24, 2019.

“All are welcome” was the theme of the open house of the Building Strong Families (BSF) Clinic on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, near downtown Burlington, Vermont. The BSF clinic will provide services focusing on checkups, preventative healthcare, and monitoring developmental milestones for children ages 1 month to 5 years within immigrant families who are patients of the UVMMC Children’s Primary Care Practice.  

The public was invited to meet the staff, tour the facility, and enjoy light refreshments. Pediatric physicians Dr. Andrea Green and Dr. Stan Weinberger, nurses Tammy Rogers and Christie Bruyette, and UVMMC-trained Family Strengthening Workers Manisha Khadka and Maryan Maalin were all present to greet guests and answer questions about the clinic’s services. In very little time, the sunlit room filled with the chatter of guests, healthcare providers, and parents with their babies.

Photo Gallery: Open House, September 24, 2019

In addition to routine pediatric checkups, Dr. Green, Dr. Weinberger, and Family Strengthening Workers Khadka and Maalin will use clinic time to provide education about child-rearing in a new country in a group learning setting. During these learning sessions, child care is provided by the clinic. The clinic is designed to give parents and children a comfortable and secure place to be their authentic selves with health care providers. The clinic also provides interpreting services and connects families to community support resources and to other parents in their neighborhood.

The clinic is funded through the ACO Innovation Fund grant from OneCare Vermont. The clinic was developed by Dr. Green, who is the director of the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital Pediatric New American Program. Other partners involved in the creation of the clinic included the Janet Munt Family Room’s Executive Director Josh Miller and the Center for Behavioral Integration’s Dr. Kamon, who will provide evaluation of the new clinic.

OneCare’s ACO Innovation Fund grants are used to improve the quality, cost, and experience of care for patients, and to address the needs of different types of populations, including vulnerable, low-income, and immigrant groups. The BSF clinic was one of multiple recipients in the ACO network that received over $500,000 in funding to local communities in the first cycle of this program in early 2019. Find out more about the first round of funding here:

In addition to the ACO Innovation Fund grant, a donation from the Vermont Community Foundation and a generous private donor allowed the BSF clinic team to renovate a second floor room rented by the Family Room at 20 Allen St. The space now has private exam rooms and a large main room for gatherings. Updates include new flooring and colorful furniture, and the addition of medical equipment and storage. Large portraits, beautifully photographed and framed, line the walls within the space. 

The Pediatric New American Program is a nationally recognized model of care for refugees and immigrants, and helps children and families thrive by offering comprehensive, family-centered, medical care. By connecting Family Strengthening Workers to families struggling with poverty, employment, housing, and related stressors, medical providers wrap the family within a holistic approach that addresses not only acute needs, but root causes of medical conditions. 

Through the Innovation Fund grant and dedication of the BSF clinic team, immigrant families and their children are able to spend more time with these health care providers. The grant also allows the clinic to structure their services to better support the needs and well-being of New American families.

With OneCare’s support, we are striving to better meet the needs of our patients and families through  a model of care that aims to create a community of parents who can learn from and support each other as they manage the challenges of raising children in a new country.

Dr. Andrea Green

Pediatrician and Director of the Building Strong Families Clinic, University of Vermont Medical Center

“With OneCare’s support, we are striving to better meet the needs of our patients and families through a model of care that aims to create a community of parents who can learn from and support each other as they manage the challenges of raising children in a new country,” said Dr. Green.

The BSF clinic plans to collect information on how to better serve this particular patient population. The goal of the BSF clinic is to eventually grow into a “pre-school” like health clinic with extended hours for patients, to target additional patient populations with special needs, and to increase the availability of services.

Sara Barry, senior director of Value-Based Care at OneCare, said that through the ACO Innovation Fund grant program, “Vermont is a national leader in testing innovations in healthcare delivery and with the Innovation Fund, OneCare is supporting its network of providers as they imagine the future of health care for Vermonters. What stood out to the Innovation Fund selection committee was Dr. Green’s commitment to meeting her patients and their families in their community and in a setting [The Janet Munt Family Room] that can support them holistically. In the coming months, we look forward to learning more about how Dr. Green’s team will help improve health for these local children and families.”

The Building Stronger Families Clinic is located at the Janet Munt Family Room, 20 Allen Street, Burlington, Vermont.

For more information:

Please contact Alice Wack, Marketing and Communications Strategist at OneCare Vermont. | 802-847-1346