Special Healthcare Needs

People with special healthcare needs are people who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services beyond those required by people 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.