Charlotte Helvie, MD, FAAP
As the director of the sole pediatric group in the county I feel a responsibility for all of the children of the community. This CATCH grant will be used to formalize the interaction between various providers and agencies in Inyo County who work with children in order to improve the identification of families who are at increased risk of child abuse or neglect and the ability of these families to access supportive services. Those of us who work closely with children in the community such as healthcare providers, teachers, and daycare providers are often frustrated that if we identify a child who seems to be at risk for abuse or neglect it is unclear to which agencies to refer for assistance. Also, when referrals are made, barriers may exist that prevent these referrals from being completed. This grant will be used to identify barriers for families and to bring service providers together to establish a coordinated referral network in order to help our communities use their resources more efficiently and improve supportive services to keep families together. Through improved coordination we hope to decrease the need for Child Protective Services intervention and out of home placement and ensure that all children have a safe and nurturing environment.
I have been practicing as a general pediatrician in Bishop, a rural town in eastern California, since 2004. I’m currently the medical director of pediatrics for Northern Inyo Healthcare District, a critical access hospital and the associated outpatient pediatric clinic, offering a wide range of general pediatric care. Living and working in a medically isolated area has challenges for both patients and providers but also affords me the opportunity to work closely with a variety of community partners in order to provide optimal care for the children of our community. When not at work I enjoy our beautiful mountain surroundings, hiking, skiing and climbing with my husband and two sons.