October 1, 2005
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School

This survey outlines recent innovations in health and human services at the state level across the U.S. It is organized by state. Below we have provided a list of the survey's contents by topic.

To view last month's Survey of Recent Innovations in Education, click here.

Affordable Care/Access to Care

  • Health fairs with free medical screenings: AL
  • Health insurance coverage options for small businesses: AZ, ME
  • Grants for higher quality care and access in rural communities: CO
  • State facilitated pre-tax payments of premiums for working individuals: MA
  • Cost Containment Initiative: WA
  • State reduction in insurance costs: MA

Children's Care

  • Statewide initiatives offering healthcare to children under 19: AR, FL, NY, WI
  • Wellness programs to combat childhood obesity: CA
  • Public-private partnerships to fund health insurance for children: CO
  • Program for children and pregnant women: IL
  • Increasing access for infants with disabilities: MO
  • Outreach and enrollment fairs to get children on health insurance rolls: NJ
  • Fill summertime nutrition gap for school children: OR

Health Care Profession

  • Incentives for nurses: CA
  • Emergency Credential Program for health care professionals: CT
  • Protection for health care professionals in long-term care homes: IL
  • Training programs to address nursing shortages: IL
  • Medical malpractice reforms: AL, FL, IL

Homelessness/Mental Health

  • Suicide prevention plans: FL
  • Fully subsidized healthcare centers for the homeless: HI, ME
  • Legislation addressing third-party payment for biologically related mental illnesses: IA
  • Raise awareness about post-partum depression: NJ
  • Initiative to allow teenage parents to surrender newborns without facing criminal
  • prosecution: MA

Substance Abuse

  • Statewide, comprehensive and science-based substance abuse program: AL
  • Substance abuse testing in schools: MA
  • Focus on residential programs versus incarceration for substance abusers: MD
  • Ignition Interlock Devices on cars of repeat drunk drivers: NM

Long-term Care

  • "Green Houses" for elderly, family-style living situation, eating home-cooked meals, sleeping in own rooms and pursuing hobbies: MS
  • New state-level Commission on Aging to handle the unique policy problems for a growing elderly population: AL

Healthcare Disparities

  • State and faith-based joint efforts to combat disparities in health care: IL
  • Breast and cervical cancer early detection for minorities: IN
  • New state-level Department of Disabilities: MD
  • Culturally competent health education services for minorities: NE
  • Include a Spanish version of a Clinical Trials website: NJ

Prescription Drugs

  • Safety net for seniors for increasing cost of prescription drugs: AL, IL
  • Website to find affordable prescription drugs: MN
  • Savings initiative: OK

Domestic Abuse

  • Confidentiality program: PA
  • Tougher penalties for abusers: SC

General Health

  • Comprehensive statewide plans attacking a range of general health issues: AR, KY, OH, VA, ND, TX, VT
  • Wellness plans for state employees: DE, RI
  • Incentives to donate blood: IL
  • Website to help residents monitor their health: IN
  • Repository for donated cancer drugs: KS
  • Eliminating junk food from schools: LA
  • Programs designed to help parents talk to children about abstinence and sexual health: MI
  • Physical activity and nutrition plans: NE, CA
  • Release safety data of state hospitals: OR
  • Online portal with hospital pricing: SD
  • Initiative to fight heat-related illnesses for outdoor workers: CA
  • Program to reduce tobacco use: MI, ND
  • Technology to improve healthcare delivery: NM, NV, NY, TN

Air Quality

  • Strategies to reduce air toxins: DE
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