Salem Health grants $41,370 to Family Building Blocks

Salem Health presented a $41,370 Community Partnership Grant to Family Building Blocks to fund a pilot project to electronically conduct developmental screenings for children in a family’s home.

Salem Health introduced the Community Partnership Grant program in October 2014 and will grant a total of $306,382 in 2017. Successful initiatives improve the quality of life for those most at risk in our community and decrease the need for catastrophic care and its associated social, emotional and economic costs.

“This pilot project will make a difference in the lives of our community’s most vulnerable citizens – our children,” said Patrice Altenhofen, Executive Director of Family Building Blocks. “The use of tablets by our staff during home visits allows us to address needs immediately and offer on-demand resources. With the support of Salem Health, we are providing local children more opportunities to thrive.”

Electronic screenings increase the chance of early detection of developmental delays. Early detection followed by quality interventions result in better long-term health outcomes. Research indicates that detection rates for developmental disabilities without using tools is 20 percent, compared to 80-90 percent using a screening tool. Only 30 percent of children with disabilities are identified for intervention before starting school. Providing intervention prior to kindergarten for children with potential delays has significant benefits.

“Community Partnership Grants are designed to improve the quality of life for those most at risk in our community,” said Sharon Heuer, director of community benefit at Salem Health. “We know that this pilot project will address a specific need in the development of these young children and we’re pleased to partner with Family Building Blocks to help keep children safe and families together.”

Community Partnership Grant funding encourages innovative collaboration and engagement among community organizations that share a common vision for better health and meet community health needs identified by the Salem Health Board of Trustees. Current priorities for projects include obesity prevention, tobacco and substance use and early childhood health.  

Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at; “Like” us on; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at

Pictured (L to R): Leilani Slama, Vice President of Community Engagement, Salem Health; Patrice Altenhofen, Executive Director, Family Building Blocks; and Diana Rojas, Home Visitor, Family Building Blocks