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Cleveland Clinic Receives $125 000 Grant to Educate Caregivers on Treating Patients With Developmental Disabilities


To improve the health and healthcare of individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, Cleveland Clinic has received a $125,000 grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. The grant will be used to fund a multimedia campaign called "Hard-Wired for Health."

The project will involve development of the following:

  • Educational DVD
  • Quality improvement projects
  • Creation of advisory committees that include parents and caregivers

Project Uses Technology to Educate Many

Carl Tyler, MD, Geriatrics and Research Coordinator at Cleveland Clinic’s Fairview Hospital Family Medicine Residency training program, will lead the project.

Dr. Tyler commented, “Information technology offers tremendous opportunities to improve the health of individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (IDD). This project will use IT to educate self-advocates, families, support professionals, healthcare workers, family medicine physicians and medical students.”

Dr. Tyler’s group will develop a DVD to educate health professionals on how to better care for individuals with IDD. The project also will involve a concept called photovoice in which people with IDD will be provided digital cameras to take photos of things that communicate what they want improved about their healthcare.

Curriculum Consultations

“Hard-Wired for Health” evaluators also will do curriculum consultations with local medical school programs to ensure that students are receiving the proper training on how to best care for patients with IDD. Videotaped interactions between healthcare providers and individuals with IDD also will be used as teaching tools.

“We are going to analyze the video and discuss with resident physicians in family medicine what they did well and things they can improve,” Dr. Tyler said.

“I appreciate the collaborative efforts of Case Western Reserve University and Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, service providers, disabilities professionals and  family and self-advocacy groups to generate this grant proposal and to make it happen,” he added.

The grant is renewable for three years.