The Child Ready Program-Helping communities be ready to care for the acutely ill or injured child, from prevention to intervention

What if every child lived in a Child Ready Community, a community prepared to respond to and even prevent a childhood emergency?

Photo of Robert Sapien, MD, MMM
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Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • Hispanic, Latinx, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian)

If you chose to self-identify your race, ethnicity, or origin, please share here: (the answer will not be public)

Hispanic White, Mexican and Spanish American


Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • New Mexico

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]


Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • New Mexico

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]

This is a statewide and regional project which involves rural communities, both tribal and non-tribal throughout NM and parts of Southern Colorado. We will soon have reach into Arizona and Oklahoma as well.

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Children living in tribal and rural communities do not have access to Pediatric Emergency care. For these children and their families, travel distances are great and family resources to travel to specialty care are limited. It is important to help children, no matter where they live, have access to equal care. We do this through consultation via the Child Ready Virtual Pediatric Emergency Department Telehealth network and provider education.

The Child Ready Program uses a Community Engagement approach to help communities self-assess their level of readiness or preparedness to care for the acutely ill or injured child, from scene to hospital. Our team, along with a community champion, facilitate community self-assessment visits where community stakeholders self-assess their level of preparedness to care for the ill or injured child regardless of where the event occurs (i.e. at home, at school, in the community, in the ambulance or in the local Emergency Department). After the community meeting, we offer the following services: 1. participation in Child Ready Virtual Pediatric Emergency Department Telehealth Network for consultations and clinically co-managing children in their local ED; 2. online education for healthcare providers (over 40 hours of online Pediatric Emergency specific education); and 3. prevention activities such as the home safety app. We are applying these activities to regionalization of Pediatric Emergency Care as well as optimizing medical facility preparedness to care for the child. 

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Low-income communities

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Childcare
  • Child and Family Services
  • Community Development and Empowerment
  • Education
  • Mental Health

Year Founded


Project Stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages, and the next step will be growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Over the past year we have built the Child Ready Virtual Pediatric Emergency Department telehealth network to include 6 rural and tribal medical facilities. We are in varying stages of completion of adding and addition 16 rural and tribal medical facilities in the network. We are tracking patient miles saved as the vast majority of consults that occur for the child in these rural and tribal emergency departments are cared for in situ, avoiding inconvenient, long, potentially dangerous and expensive transfers to pediatric referral centers.

Organization Type

  • nonprofit/NGO/citizen sector

Annual Budget

  • $100k - $250k

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Currently, we are HRSA grant supported. We are actively working on a sustainability plan so as not to be grant-dependent. Empowering communities and their members through this program, we feel will help with the sustainability.

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

There are other programs and states working on regionalization of Pediatric Emergency Care and medical facility recognition. We are the only program involving the community in these initiatives. We strongly believe that the entire community needs to be prepared to help that acutely ill or injured child. We also believe strongly in prevention. Therefore, we have developed the home safety injury prevention app and have started working on an asthma prevention app. Finally, we are developing an online Cultural Humility training for healthcare providers so they can better serve their patients.

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

We need to be involved at the community level to help children be safe and healthy. To this end, preparing communities in prevention as well as intervention (clinical care) are paramount.

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Email

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka, who was it? (the answer will not be public)

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Attachments (2)

OnlineEd flyer-logos (3).docx

One aspect of the Child Ready Program is online education for providers on pediatric emergency care. We offer over 40 hours of pediatric emergency medicine education.

Safe Home Tool flyer-logos (1).docx

Another aspect of the Child Ready Program is our prevention activities. We have created a home safety, injury prevention tool for use on smartphones and devices as well as a web version.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nicole Forsyth

Wow! It is so important to find solutions to providing access to health and safety information in underserved communities like this! Thanks for your work in this area! Involving the community is also a great idea, although I wasn't sure exactly how this happens? When you refer to "community," do you just means the medical community in these areas or the larger community? Are you involving tribal leaders/members? I'm also not sure how this ties into the greater goals of the broader, more holistic view of children's wellbeing? Through your education program are you empowering children to take charge of their own health/preventative health/safety, become their own agents, improve sense of belonging, resilience, etc.? Would love to see more about this if you are. Thanks!

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