Committee on Children with Disabilities

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Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

COCWD: Who We Are | COCWD Resources

The mission of The Illinois Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Children with Disabilities (COCWD) is to support Illinois children with disabilities and their families by:

  1. Informing and educating health care providers in Illinois about national AAP COCWD policy.
  2. Providing educational opportunities for pediatricians and others about the needs of children with disabilities and their families.
  3. Collaborating with other organizations advocating for children with disabilities and their families.

Committee Meetings and Contacts

COCWD Meetings: Specific dates vary by member preference

Next COCWD Meeting Dates: Friday, January 6, 2017, Wednesday, April 5, 2017, Friday, Juy 14, 2017, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

COCWD Chairpersons: Dr. Larry Gray and Dr. Mary Keen

COCWD Staff Contact: Kathy Sanabria, MBA, Associate Executive Director

View the minutes from the last COCWD Committee Meeting from October 14, 2016 here.

Visit the meeting minutes archive here.

If you are interested in attending the next COCWD meeting or have any other questions please contact:

Kathy Sanabria
312-733-1026, ext. 208

or Elsie Divinagracia
312-733-1026, ext 238


Combined Comments from ICAAP and our great partner the Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F) on the Illinois Statewide Transition Plan for new CMS Rules.

The Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP) and The Arc of Illinois Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F) support the comments on the Healthcare and Family Services Transition Plan for New CMS Rules on Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) submitted by the Arc of Illinois December 6, 2016. Below are additional comments related to the pediatric population for the revised Illinois Statewide Transition Plan.

ICAAP and F2F encourage the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), including the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) and the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to come together and establish a pediatric focus for children (ages birth to 21 years) across all six of Illinois’ current nine Medicaid waivers which serve children with emphasis on coordinating services to support families to keep children living at home, in their own communities, whenever possible. This process should start with formalizing a “no wrong door” policy for all children and families currently receiving any type of services/supports from DHS (any division) and/or HFS (including children and families enrolled in Family Health Plans).

We recommend that HFS establish a pediatric specialist role within the HFS Bureau of Interagency Coordination as well as establish a Children’s Waiver Central Office in Springfield (analogous to the current arrangement established by HFS and DHS specific to the Medically Fragile and Technology Dependent (MFTD) waiver: Central Office (CO) 238, which is part of the Bureau of Local Office Transactions and Support Services (LOTS).

In this way, families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) currently receiving any type of services/supports from DHS and HFS can be supported by direct linkage to potential HCBS waiver-specific programming designed to enable them to raise their children in their own communities.

Based on presently available information, our current system in Illinois appears to have some capacity to serve more children with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses with home-based services and supports, but accessing them can be a daunting task for many families, as well as for providers and service professionals. There is a paucity of current, definitive data that continues to be a barrier to both child-specific program and policy.

READ MORE …..   

2015 Medical Home Newsletter

The Building Community-Based Medical Homes for Children newsletter is here!  It was published October 1, 2015.  The newsletter is mailed to all ICAAP members.  It is also available as a pdf. ICAAP has been working on several medical home initiatives over the past three years.  A few have been completed and results are summarized in this seventh edition of the newsletter.  Many other activities continue to support pediatricians, providers, and patients and families around the state. Sara Parvinian, MD, FAAP, ICAAP pediatrician leader, offers a thoughtful commentary on what “medical home”  implementation has meant to her as a community pediatrician in Gurnee, IL as well as what it has done for patients.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and dedication to the advancement of medical homes.  If you or your practice would like information on how to participate in practice transformation, please contact Kathy Sanabria, MBA, PMP, Associate Executive Director,

2012 Medical Home Newsletter

The 2012 Medical Home Newsletter features the evaluation results from the Building Community-Based Medical Homes for Children program, an update on the Illinois Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, and information on how to assess a practice’s “Medical Homeness.”

2011 Medical Home Newsletter

The 2011 Medical Home Newsletter features updates and resources from ICAAP’s programs for transitioning youth to adult health care, medical home quality improvement teams, and [...more]

Illinois Special Needs Provider Directory

The Illinois Provider Directory for Children, Youth and Young Adults with Special Health Care Needs is a free online resource that connects individuals with special health care needs with skilled health care providers. Search for providers or sign up to be listed in the directory by visiting

Visit the AAP Council on Children With Disabilities website here.