What is Project DOCC?

Project DOCC - Delivery of Chronic Care is a project-based organization, focused on the issues of families of children or young adults with special health care needs. Project DOCC seeks to put the individual and family at the center of the health care system, regardless of age, diagnosis, or prognosis.

Project DOCC’s program is built on the premise that all children and adults living with a chronic illness or disability-- and their families-- deserve the best quality of life possible in their individual situation. In today’s health care environment, this requires patients and caregivers to manage complex regimens of medical and home care and to navigate not only health care, but also educational, social service, governmental, and insurance systems.

Our Current Project

Project DOCC has worked across the nation and internationally. Our current work is focused on our home community, Nassau County, where we are particularly conscious of the additional burdens on families in the “hidden Long Island”--low income, often new immigrant, residents who have service needs that are neither easily voiced nor readily heard.

To accomplish this work, Project DOCC has formed a collaborative partnership with the Center for Civic Engagement at Hofstra University, and Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC)/NuHealth. The mission of Advocates for Community Health (ACH) is to serve under-resourced Long Island children and their parents, particularly families of young children with special health care needs. To further the goals of serving these families, we have developed a two-pronged approach.


  •     -First, connect families with local community resources that enhance health and wellbeing. In          
  •      January,ACH, working with Health Leads, a national non-profit organization, launched Help Desks at
  •      NUMC,staffed by student advocates.
  •     -Students have been working with families now for ten months. Second, teach families how to access  
  •      resources for themselves and empower families to advocate for others by effectively and strategically
  •      narrating their own experience. These are the proposed family workshops for which we are seeing    
  •      funding.

What We Do

Project DOCC developed a model of training in which families teach doctors, nurses, and educators in health care and community settings. Family faculty trains residents and fellows in pediatrics and family medicine programs around the country and in Australia. This model of enabling families to give voice to their experience and their needs has been behind each of Project DOCCs accomplishments.

Project DOCC:

  • -Teaches family members advocacy skills and strategies for use in negotiating with schools, elected officials and medical providers.
  • -Acts as family faculty teaching physicians and other medical professionals through home visits, interviews and panel presentations.
  • -Adapted the training program for caregivers of older adults to be family faculty for primary care physicians.
  • -Developed a program that enables people with challenging genetic conditions and their family caregivers to teach their doctors about their experience.
  • -Works with families who have a child with developmental disabilities transitioning from school to adult life.