PMHCC Programs

Developmental Medicine Division

The Developmental Medicine Division (DMD) was established in 1989 with the mission to “enhance the quality of health care through the development and implementation of systems, which support individuals with intellectual disabilities.”  It was intended to address the historic problems experienced by people with intellectual disabilities in readily accessing quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care. The division is dedicated to improving the intellectual disability service delivery system by means of integration with community service providers and not by the development of independent services. Therefore, the division is not an independent service provider, devoting energy instead toward bringing resource and need together. The DMD has developed a range of initiatives, procedures, and education programs intended to benefit individuals, residential and health care providers, and government.

Within Philadelphia, throughout the southeastern region of the state, and beyond on request, the DMD has been active in four major areas. Clinically the division staff provides medical evaluations, consultations, and second opinions directly and in support of health care providers at large. Division staff works toward developing new health care resources within the community, which have generic application. Concomitantly division staff has fostered educational opportunities in terms of clinical case reviews, presentation, in-service training, and participation in conference activities. Special emphasis is given to providing direct care staff and health care providers with the support they need to serve this population well. The division devotes considerable effort to assisting Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services (IDS) in activities promoting regulatory compliance, policy development, and quality assurance. Examples include participation in incident review, morbidity and mortality committee deliberations, data acquisition and analysis, and continued professional development. Additionally, the division is available to Philadelphia’s managed behavioral health organization known as CBH.

The Developmental Medicine Division assists and participates with efforts to obtain appropriate health care for plaintiff class members of the Pennhurst, Embreeville and other class action suits. Division staff promotes meaningful monitoring, educational support and clinical evaluation.

DMD staff carries a small specialized, clinical caseload, and provides primary developmental care for that population. Staff participates in health work groups, committees, and clinical activities pursuant to court compliance policy. Staff provides consultation with provider agencies and health care, and in quality assurance activities. Further resource and supportive policy development continue to be critical as does ongoing health education and training.

Division staff participates in data collection and analysis to determine risk factors and trends. Finally, division staff strongly adheres to the principles of professional development in terms of acquisition of educational materials, attendance at conferences and CME activities, and maintenance of affiliations with area hospitals, and professional organizations.

PMHCC provides administrative supports to the DMD in terms of fiscal, human resources, and IT services.