IDD Heath Matters Ep 20: Melissa DiSipio

Dr. Craig Escude introduces the podcast “ID Health Matters,” focusing on health, wellness, and health equity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Melissa DiSipio, the guest for the episode, is welcomed. Melissa DiSipio is the director of Philadelphia Coordinated Healthcare (PCHC), a unique program in Pennsylvania. PCHC, part of eight Healthcare Quality Units in the state, was established over 30 years ago to bridge the gap between providers, families, and individuals needing access to community healthcare professionals. HICUs provide indirect services, including education, training (both in-person and online), consultation, record reviews, and assistance in transitions for individuals with IDD. They address complex medical conditions like dysphasia, dementia, diabetes, and behavioral health issues. PCHC offers a wide range of training topics, including physical health (diabetes, aging, dysphasia, seizures, constipation, sepsis, dehydration) and behavioral health (trauma training, psychotropic medication). Training is available for provider agencies, nurses, staff, and individuals with IDD. Emphasis on low literacy and plain language training for better understanding among individuals with IDD and their caregivers. PCHC engages in outreach to hospitals and clinicians to increase awareness and education about IDD. Collaboration with mental health clinicians and organizations for training and support. Melissa DiSipio discusses her involvement with AAIDD, including her progression to the role of president-elect. Emphasizes the importance of networking, learning, and mentorship within the organization. PCHC is involved in a Statewide initiative to assist children with complex medical conditions transition from long-term care facilities to community settings. Focus on increasing support and training for children receiving skilled nursing care. Emphasis on dental health and ensuring access to quality dental care for individuals with IDD. Melissa DiSipio shares three key points for improving health and wellness in individuals with IDD: outreach to medical professionals, student mentorship and education, and empowering individuals with IDD to take control of their healthcare. Dr. Escude thanks Melissa DiSipio for her contributions and work in the field. Website Mentioned: – For accessing documents, online training, and virtual trainings related to health care for individuals with IDD. The podcast episode with Dr. Craig Escude and Melissa DiSipio focuses on the critical role of healthcare quality units in supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, emphasizing the importance of education, training, and community collaboration.

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