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    U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa and Educational & Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) Know: It Takes a Village

    U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa and Educational & Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) Know: It Takes a Village

    Photo By Isaac Savitz | Edward Boyd (MCCS FAP) explained the vast number of resources available under the...... read more read more



    Story by Isaac Savitz 

    U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa

    Okinawa, Japan Friday, 26 April, EDIS held a developmental screening event on Camp Kinser. Educational and Developmental Intervention Services is a department of the U.S. Naval Hospital that provides services to children with special needs, independently or in conjunction with Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). EDIS has two programs: Early Intervention and Related Services. U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa (USNHO) and EDIS work with shared services and providers to help families navigate the system when a child needs these essential services.

    From birth to three years old, a child can be referred by their provider or a parent to the program, which is entirely voluntary. Early intervention is a federally mandated program and can look a little different depending on where you are, but ultimately, it is the same service. After a referral, EDIS program staff will go out and meet with the family at home; they want to serve the family in a comfortable environment. They start with a developmental screening, and if there are concerns, it moves into a formal evaluation. Eligibility and available resources help fine-tune the treatment plan, and the child is then enrolled in the EDIS program.

    When asked if there are concerns with the stigma and ramifications of being part of one of these programs, nearly everyone interviewed said they had seen concern, especially from active-duty service members who fear they may have limited duty stations and career options based on the child's diagnosis and available resources at various commands. While there are, in some instances, units that are either stationed in austere environments or the mission dictates there are no services for family members, they are few and far between and should never affect a family from choosing what is best for their child. If you look on the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) page under the frequently asked questions section, the first question you will see is: How does enrollment in EFMP affect military assignments or postings? The answer is: Enrollment in EFMP ensures consideration of a family member's needs during military assignments to place families in locations that can support those needs. Brian Jordan, Program Manager for EDIS, helped coordinate the event and said he hopes that providing more access, like holding that day's event on Camp Kinser, the most southern camp, and making a safe space that had toys and activities for kids, while providing parents the opportunity to ask questions of the subject matter experts (SME) on hand, will allow more families to get the services they need.

    It takes a village or at least a lot of people to make this all happen. There are many experts in speech pathology, physical therapy, counselors (drug, financial, academic, behavioral), theologians, school faculty, and more; all are trying to help families with all the stressors that are often associated with military families that relocate across the country or the world away from the support structures many civilians have with their friends and family in their hometown. The services are free to those who qualify, and in some cases, can be temporary, for example, with speech therapy or even some physical or learning deficiencies.

    There is no reason families should be struggling or feeling alone with so many programs in place to handle every aspect of family life. The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Educational & Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS), Family Advocacy Program (FAP), New Parent Support Program (NPSP), Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC), Community Counseling Program (CCP), and many other acronyms have experts that are eager to help families find the resources they need to be safe and thriving here in Okinawa. The services are intended to follow seamlessly between moves and as the children progress into and through school. Future events are already planned to help ensure families get the needed services.

    The U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Okinawa (USNMRTCO) supports the Defense Health Agency's U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa (USNHO) as the largest OCONUS Navy Medicine medical treatment facility and stands t ready to respond to contingency operations to support the INDOPACOM region. It is a critical regional asset for direct care delivery, regional referrals, and medical contingency operations. The staff of USNHO understands their vital role as pre-positioned, forward-deployed naval forces within the first island chain, aligned and in support of the joint military commands and operations.

    Trey Savitz, Public Affairs Officer
    U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan
    Comm: 011-81-971-7024
    DSN: (315) 646-7024



    Date Taken: 04.26.2024
    Date Posted: 05.02.2024 01:22
    Story ID: 470070
    Location: OKINAWA, JP

    Web Views: 68
    Downloads: 0