Medical Home: Getting StartedCHNs are designed to be customized and distributed by medical home teams, local health departments, health plans, or others. This section guides you through the process for preparing a customized CHN.

User Agreement

Child Health Notes are provided as a service by the University of Washington, Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD) in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Health-Children with Special Health Care Needs Program. The content of Child Health Notes has been carefully researched, written and reviewed.

Users Agree To The Following:

  • Users agree to reproduce the content of CHNs with no changes, additions or deletions, except for the addition of local resource information.
  • Credit the University of Washington, Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD) and the Washington State Department of Health when reproducing the content for other types of distribution.
  • To discuss possible content change other than local resource information, contact the CHN Project Coordinator.


Child Health Notes are formatted in Microsoft Word® for easy customization. Content includes topical, informative material and includes resource information, which can be supplemented with additional local resources. Sectionsfor local information are labeled numerically with corresponding  CHN instructions for customization.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps for customizing?

  • Choose the CHN topic
  • Open the CHN topic by clicking on the corresponding Word file.
  • Open the CHN instructions by clicking on Instructions.
  • Within the body of the CHN Word document you will see some numbers. Each of these numbers represents a place for you to type in your own community information. The instructions give you suggestions for the community information to include.

NOTE: Please do not make changes to the content of the topic material, as it has been carefully developed and reviewed by a team of medical and health experts. Please see user agreement.

How much time will it take to customize a CHN?

The amount of time required to customize a Child Health Note will vary. With experience and practice using the CHNs the time needed to complete the actual customization of the CHN document will be minimal, and likely less than one hour.

To prepare a customized CHN for your community your will need to allow for time to:

  • Choose a pertinent CHN topic
  • Identify local resources for the chosen CHN topic
  • Modify the CHN document to include your community information

How are the CHNs updated on the website?

CHN topics developed within the past 3-4 years are considered current and accurate CHN topics. CHN topics more than 4 years old are archived but remain accessible to you. It is recommended that you consult with the CHN project coordinator when considering the use of an archived CHN topic. Revisions of the archived CHN content may be needed to assure that information is up-to-date and accurate. All CHN topics are labeled with the with the date of creation or revision.

Getting Started

The following guidelines will help you develop a plan of action for using the Child Health Notes.

Identify the support and commitment of individuals and organizations in your community to participate in this project.

Solicit endorsement from your Medical Home Team, Local Health Jursidiction, County Interagency Coordinating Council, and/or other community agencies or health plans. Support and promotion from community organizations, and crediting their contributions brings credibility to the Child Health Note.

Establish a small working committee to be responsible for your local Child Health Note project.

Identify source(s) for funding the project. For hard copies, costs will include printing, preparation of mailing labels and postage. Some Washington communities have found creative ways to cover these costs:

  • Distribute Child Health Notes to physicians at the local hospital where volunteers place them into physicians’ mailboxes.
  • Include the Child Health Note in a newsletter that is already being sent to physicians on a regular basis.
  • Distribute Child Health Notes by email.
  • Take the Child Health Notes to pertinent meetings for distribution.

Establish a distribution list. Include pediatricians, family practice physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, public health nurses, family resource coordinators and health care plans. Consider distribution to also include early intervention providers, mental health providers, childcare providers and early childhood educators. Some counties include specialty medical practitioners for certain topics, such as OB-GYN and Internal Medicine physicians.

Distribute the Child Health Notes on a regular basis. Some Washington counties send CHNs out every two months and others send them out quarterly.

Mailing CHNs regularly adds consistency and credibility to the Health Notes.

Highlight an up-coming local or regional continuing education event. Devite a text box to announce the event.

Create a Topic

Help us with a new CHN topic. Your community is welcome to assist us to identify and/or write new Child Health Note topics. We write or update at least 4 CHNs each contract year (July 1- June 30). We choose new topics throughout the year in consultation with the Dept of Health and community partners.

For more information contact:

Kate Orville, MPH
Child Health Notes Project Coordinator
University of Washington
Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920
Seattle, WA 98195

Tel: (206) 685-1279

Suggestions for Use

A County Interagency Coordinating Council and/or Local Health Jurisdiction), can partner to distribute CHNs in their local area

A healthcare plan can provide CHNs to physicians and other primary health care providers in their plan. This can work very effectively as an interagency partnership activity between the healthcare plan and an other community agency such as a Medical Home Team, Local Health Jurisdiction, or County Interagency Coordinating Council.

CHNs can be used as a tool to announce a regional or community-based continuing education event or health event.

Content from CHNs can be used in existing health or community newsletters. [See USER AGREEMENT above]


CHNs are designed and produced for users to distribute either in hard copy or via email. We recommend sending CHNs to interested parties on a regular basis, i.e., bi-monthly. This provides a consistent, up-to-date resource.

Recipients might include:

  • Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistant
  • Public health nurses
  • Family Resources Coordinators
  • Early intervention providers
  • Public school programs
  • Childcare, Head Start, or other early childhood educators
  • Mental health clinics or providers
  • Other healthcare providers

For more information about Child Health Notes, please contact:

Kate Orville, MPH
Child Health Notes Project Coordinator
Tel: (206) 685-1279