Project DOCC (Delivery of Chronic Care) improves the quality of care for severely chronically ill children by educating pediatricians-in-training about their special needs from a parent's perspective.
Founded in 1994 by Maggie Hoffman, Donna Appell, and Nancy Speller-- themselves parents of disabled children--Project DOCC brings doctors out of the hospital and into the home to learn first-hand how families deal with the long-term care of chronically ill children.
Project DOCC is now a part of the training of over 800 medical residents at 20 hospitals in the United States and Australia. It has trained hundreds of family members to act as “family faculty,” educating young physicians through home visits, parent interviews, and grand rounds presentations.
Beginning in 2003, Project DOCC will work with the United Hospital Fund, which provided early grant support for the program, to
- refine and evaluate the current pediatric program;
- develop, test, and launch a similar program for children with special health care needs who are aging out of the pediatric system and into adult medicine; and
- devise an independent, long-term organizational structure to increase Project DOCC's national prominence and effectiveness; and seek significant foundation grants to support these efforts.
Project DOCC's mission is to promote an understanding of the issues involved in caring for a family living with special health care needs regardless of age, diagnosis, or prognosis; to put the family at the center of the health care system.
How Project DOCC Works
Medical centers and family members form teams to implement Project DOCC. The curriculum is integrated into an existing rotation (e.g., general pediatrics or internal medicine) and is required for all residents and/or medical students during their training. Teaching videos, manuals, and slides are free. Each team must complete a two-day training workshop. Project DOCC encourages each hospital to pay a stipend to every family member who participates in teaching.
The Project DOCC curriculum is taught by parent teachers and made up of three components:
- Grand rounds panel presentation (one hour)
- Home visit (two hours)
- Parent interview using the Chronic Illness History (two hours)
Project DOCC is developing a transitions curriculum, which will focus on children with special needs as they mature into adulthood, and prepare doctors and nurses, parents, and the young adults themselves for the transition to adult medical and community services. The curriculum's target audiences are pediatricians and pediatric nurses; parents of emerging adults; teens and young adults; and physicians in adult medicine.
Participating Organizations, 2004
Children's Hospital at Montefiore, New York, NY
Children's Hospital of New York – Presbyterian, New York, NY
Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Driscoll Children's Hospital, Corpus Cristi, TX
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, West Islip, NY
Maimonides Medical Center, New York, NY
Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA
NYU Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital, New York, NY
North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY
Schneider Children's Hospital, New York, NY
T. C. Thompson Children's Hospital, Chattanooga, TN
Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX
The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AK
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, KS
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN
University of Texas Health Science Center (CAMP), San Antonio, TX
Resources for family caregivers and health care providers are available at our Next Step in Care website.