Healthy Kids Coalition Fund
Legal-name: Tichenor Orthopedic Clinic for Children
Previous-name: Adelaide Tichenor Clinic for Children
Address: 1660 Termino Ave.
City: Long Beach
Ranking-title: Alan Puzarne, President of the Board of Directors
First-name: Lori DeLaney
Title: Executive Director
Grant Purpose: Because the need for speech therapy in the Long Beach community has increased beyond our capacity, we are seeking $3,000 Healthy Kids Coalition grant funding to hire a speech-language pathologist with additional grant funding ($50,000 Munzer Foundation grant application pending, $15,000 Boeing Employee Community Fund Grant pending) who will help reduce Tichenor’s waitlist by 25%, from 280 children to 210 (70 new children seen over 12 months).
What-is-project: Speech-language deficits are the most common of childhood disabilities and affect about 1 in 12 children or 5% to 8% of preschool children [Pediatrics, 2006]. The consequences of untreated speech-language problems are significant and lead to behavioral challenges, mental health problems, reading difficulties [Boudreau, 1999] and academic failure including in-grade retention and high school dropout [Shonkoff, 2000]. The course of development can be altered in early childhood by effective interventions. Research shows that children with a variety of communication difficulties make good progress when their parents learn to use specific techniques designed to improve the children’s communication skills [Roberts, 2011].
Currently, children in the greater Long Beach area do not have enough access to speech therapy services. We surveyed the ten agencies in Long Beach that offer speech therapy in June 2019. Six do not take clients with Medi-Cal. Miller Children Hospital accepts clients with managed care Medi-cal for medical related issues requiring hospitalization. Speech Bananas accepts children with Medi-Cal if they have a hearing loss. Scottish Rite Long Beach Center for Childhood Disorders offers free care for children up to six years old who are not eligible for Regional Center or school services. Riverview Hearing and Speech & Language Center accepts managed Medi-Cal clients but they have a 6 – 12 month wait list. All the families seeking speech-language services at Tichenor report that they have been unable to find a provider. Due to limited capacity, there are 280 children on a wait list for speech therapy at Tichenor Clinic.
Ideally, we would serve the children under five. Decades of rigorous research on brain development shows us that earlier is better for intervention [Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010] A delay in getting early intervention when children are young can adversely affect the rest of their life’s trajectory. Researchers found that by age 4, there is a ‘30 million word gap’. Children from professional families hear a total of 45 million words on average, while children living in poverty hear 13 million words on average (Hart and Risley, 1995).
To make these differences for the parents and children and reduce our waitlist, Tichenor Clinic will hire one full-time Speech-language Pathologist (SLP) to provide individual speech therapy. The speech-language therapy at Tichenor is best suited to our target audience because we provide free access for children with Medi-Cal, all coming from a low-income family.
The target population for the recipients of speech therapy would need to meet each of the following criteria: Household income below federal, children 0-5 years of age, with speech-language skills below age-appropriate standards, insured by Medi-Cal/or no insurance, and live in Long Beach/or are able to travel to Tichenor Clinic.
How-will-you-succeed: Method: Activities administered to enhance speech among beneficiaries include but are not limited to the following.
● Individual therapy for children with speech and language delays and disorders (30 children for 1-hour sessions per week for six months)
● Consultation and implementation for alternative communication systems (5 children will receive a 1-hour session per week of Assistive Technology/Augmentative Alternative Communication for 6 months)
● Education for parents so they understand typical development and the impact of disability, illness, and impairment on their child’s development (Each family will receive up to nine 1-hour coaching sessions). (1 hour per day allocated for parent consultation and report writing).
Outcomes: During the calendar year, 70 children on the waitlist (25%) will receive 6 months of speech therapy.
● Of the 70 children, 75% will have improved in their ability to understand others better and communicate their wants and needs by using verbal language, assistive technology or augmentative communication devices as measured on a standardized language assessment tool.
● The 70 children from the waitlist will receive 6 months of speech therapy (24 sessions).
● All of the 70 parents or caregivers will attend 9 coaching sessions over 6 months with the SLP to better understand the development of communication skills, become more confident in their skills to promote language development and be able to incorporate speech and language activities during daily routines.
● A qualitative, post-treatment parent survey will show that 75% of the parents/caregivers received newly learned skills that improved their interaction with their child.
Who-are-you: Founded by Adelaide Tichenor, the clinic is one of the oldest nonprofit community clinics in Long Beach. Adelaide learned from first-hand experience that the best time to correct orthopedic problems is during childhood. Her lifelong dream to help children with chronic orthopedic and developmental disabilities, regardless of their ability to pay, was realized with the opening of the clinic in 1926.
Tichenor Clinic’s mission is to maximize children’s abilities by providing access to rehabilitative and enrichment services. We support children and families by building on their strengths. We are compassionate, going to extraordinary lengths to improve the lives of the children and families we serve. We value excellence by hiring exceptional staff. We collaborate to find resources in the community to help our families.
Tichenor has a long history of helping children with developmental delays as well as other disabilities. Children receive free or low-cost services at Tichenor. In 2018, Tichenor helped 781 children, ranging in age from birth to 18 years old. The children were 75% Hispanic/Latino, 10% Caucasian, 6% African American and 5% Asian. Spanish was the primary language for 50% of the families. Medi-Cal was the health insurance provider for a majority of the families. The vast majority of the families live in the greater Long Beach area (zip codes 90802-90815). Economically, 93% of the families were below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
The annual budget is $1.7 million dollars with twenty-eight staff consisting of the executive director, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, swim instructors, program aides and support personnel. Lori DeLaney, P.T., D.P.T., M.H.A., has led the organization as Executive Director for twenty-five years. Emory Chang, M.D., Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, has served as the Medical Director for the past five years. Many staff members are fluent in Spanish. Fifteen volunteer board members have been previous patients, volunteers at the clinic, professionals with education, medical, business, and accounting backgrounds, and attorneys.
Today, Tichenor Clinic honors Adelaide Tichenor’s legacy by continuing to reach as many children as possible through our clinic’s core programs.
● Early Intervention Program
● Therapy Programs (Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech-language Therapy)
● Swim Program
● Orthopedic Consultation Program
● Parent Support Group
Each program aims to provide children with the therapy and support they need to achieve the healthiest development trajectory possible.