Special Health Care Needs

Special Health Care Needs refers to children, youth or adults who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally. In public health terms, people with special health care needs are considered a vulnerable population, since they have a shorter life expectancy, are more likely to engage in dangerous or risky behaviors and are often isolated from a system of support. A public health response to several vulnerable populations is coordinated in the Division of Community Family Health & Equity’s Health Disparities and Access to Care Team.