Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

Infant Formula Shortage Information

What should you do if are not able to find any infant formula for your baby?

  1. Contact your community WIC office for help and advice. Locate your closest WIC office and their phone number.
  2. Contact your health care provider for help and advice.
  3. Mix all formula power and concentrate according to the package labeling. Adding more water than is recommended may make your baby very sick. Do not add more water to any formula powder or concentrate than the amount recommended on the package label.

Use this information to help you

COVID-19 Resources for CYSHCN

During this time of uncertainty it is important to get good information and resources about how to keep your child, yourself, and your family and friends safe. Below are links to resources for staying safe from the COVID-19 virus, things to think about in terms of the medical care your child or youth may need on a daily basis, and resources to access if you are having mental health needs or are struggling financially.

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs COVID-19 Health and Special Education Question and Answers Phone Call – Click the link below to access the Q&A PDF

CYSHCN COVID19 Call QA Notes.pdf

Plan for Health Care Routine Vaccination during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Introduction to Care through Telemedicine

Part 1:

What is telemedicine?
Why would I want to use telemedicine?
Does insurance cover telemedicine?

Part 2:

How do I prepare for my telemedicine appointment?
What can I expect with my telemedicine appointment?
What do I need to know during my telemedicine appointment?

Part 3:

How do I get the most from my telemedicine appointment?
What happens after my telemedicine appointment?

Plan for Emergency Care

Circle of Support Planning if you become sick with COVID-19


Prepare your family for the school year

Alaska Smart Start 2020 – Resources for building a system-wide response to online learning -

State of Alaska Special Education – Parent Resources for Accessing Special Children -


Masks 101: A Guide for Children who are Medically Complex

7 Tips to Help Your Child Wear a Face Mask

Hand Washing

Practice good hygiene

Stone Soup Group and Help Me Grow Alaska are two agencies who serve children and families throughout Alaska. They offer resources online and support via the telephone. Contact information is below:

Help Me Grow Alaska
Phone: 1-833-464-2527

Stone Soup Group
Phone: 907-561-3701

Greeen Mountain Self Advocates created a document available online, written by and for people with a disability. It offeres information and resources on COVID-19.


The CYSHCN program is within the Section Women’s Children’s and Family Health (WCFH) in the Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services. At the state level, the program collaborates with families, policy makers, health care providers, agencies, and other public-private leaders to identify and improve health system issues that impact children and families. At the local level the program supports partners to help families with resources and linkages to community services including family support, care coordination, and health information (Ex: Stone Soup Group, Alaska Center for Pediatrics, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Program).

As a Title V Agency, WCFH has adopted National Performance Measure #11 ( Percent of children with and without special health care needs having a medical home.)

You can read more about our five year plan to improve access to medical homes in our Executive Summary of the Title V Maternal Child Health Block Grant in the Five Year Action Plan table under the CYSHCN population.

Who are children and youth with special health care needs?

The federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau defines children with special health care needs as: “those 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 of amount beyond that required by children generally” (Department of Health and Human Services, 2012).

This definition can include physical conditions, such as sickle cell disease or asthma. It also includes children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, or children who are technology dependent.

Approximately 10.2 million children in the U.S. – 15 percent of all people under the age of 18 – have special healthcare needs.

More than a fifth of U.S. households with children have at least one child with special needs.

There are an estimated 20,000 children in Alaska with special health care needs.

Alaska's CYSHCN State Plan

The State of Alaska collaborated with families and a broad stakeholder group to create a five year CYSHCN Alaska State Plan. Find the full report and a summary document below.

Ongoing Activities

Education and Professional Development

Patient Centered Medical Home Advisory Work Group

We are always looking to partner with families of CYSHCN to guide our work. If you would like to participate in our workgroup related to any of our activities, please contact