Advocacy & Early Intervention Model

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Through collaboration and advocacy, the Advocacy & Early Intervnetion Model (AIM) is Feeding Matters’ undertaking to transform the system of care locally in Arizona and nationally to enhance early identification and treatment of pediatric feeding disorder. This multi-year, multi-state project will take the effort of the whole community and will help the lives of all children who struggle to eat.

Currently there are gaps in the system due to a lack of specialized education for providers, delayed identification and treatment, limited research on evidence-based treatment, and disputed insurance coverage regarding the child’s care. In addition, a family‘s quality of life is often affected due to financial and marital hardships as well as a disruption to their child’s education.

Our vision for the transformative work of AIM, Feeding Matters will strengthen the system of care for children with pediatric feeding disorder. Providers will be specialized in pediatric feeding disorder so children can be diagnosed at the onset, qualified interdisciplinary teams will established proven individualized treatment plans, insurance companies will have accurate billing codes, and families will maintain their quality of life.

AIM phases

Phase 1: Model development

An Arizona task force has been developed and will be a model for all states to adopt in order to work on their own local systems. While Feeding Matters also works with the healthcare community on national initiatives, we believe local problems often have local solutions. We want to help each state facilitate change locally while also connecting back to the national picture.

Phase 2: Engaging multiple states

Each state can develop their own state task force with the help of volunteers and Feeding Matters. Once a task force has been organized, we will work together in order to facilitate change in your local community and engage the task force in the work happening nationally.

Each state’s task force identifies three to four goals that will result in the efforts of the local task force. Below you will find developed task forces and their defined outcomes.


  • Health Plan Best Practice – to unite AHCCCS with clinicians in order to have insurance coverage of evaluation and treatment practices be more comprehensive.
  • Strategic Education Plan – to ensure pediatricians and additional community partners are made more aware of the disorder with local places to refer to.
  • Collaboration Amongst Professionals – to enhance the care given to families through engaging the professional Arizona community to learn from each other and share resources.

Phase 3: National AIM task force

As each state is working on their local systems of care, Feeding Matters will collaborate with the healthcare community and other system leaders to enhance early identification at a national level. It will be important to acknowledge and communicate work being done at each level and Feeding Matters will help facilitate this communication.