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by Paul Dworkin, M.D.

Founder, Help Me Grow; Executive Vice-President, Community Child Health Director, Office for Community Child Health, Connecticut Children's Medical Center

Feb 21, 2014

Reframing the Mental Health Issue

In a January 2014 New York Times op-ed column, Nicholas Kristof invited readers to suggest topics that deserve more attention this year. He offered up the topic of mental health as a systematically neglected issue.

I am confident that few of us disagree with him. Kristof lamented the “code of silence” around the topic, noting that the media tends to cover only mental health issues that arise in the context of extr   Read More >>

March 29, 2014

Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! Launches

Help Me Grow founder Paul Dworkin, M.D., comments on the March 25 launch of the new federal initiative to support universal developmental screening. This initiative aims to encourage healthy child development, promote universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and foster support for the families and providers who care for them.

"The Help Me Grow National Center is so pleased that the launch of the federal multi-agency initiative, Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!, brings welcome attention and useful resources to the early detection of vulnerable children at risk for adverse developmental and behavioral outcomes. We had the privilege of participating in conversations with many of the sponsoring federal agencies during the design of this initiative.

"We applaud the involved agencies' mission to promote the use of validated screening tools during the process of surveillance and screening. Equally crucial is their appreciation of the need to interpret screening results in the context of all that is known about the child and family. And we agree wholeheartedly with their emphasis on the crucial need to link detected children and their families to developmentally-enhancing, community-based programs and services.

"HMG National sees this federal initiative as synergistic with our efforts to promote early detection and linkage to services through the replication of Help Me Grow systems. We look forward to continue working with our public and private partners to connect children and their families to needed services and supports."

Participating federal agencies include the Administration for Children and Families, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau/Health Resources Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Office of Special Education of the Department of Education.

Read the Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! one-pager


March 12, 2014

Help Me Grow South Carolina Included in MIEC Home Visiting Expansion Grant

Funding will support HMG efforts for three years

The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded South Carolina-MIEC Home Visiting a $14.4 million grant to expand home visiting services and early childhood system initiatives. Help Me Grow South Carolina is embedded in the grant. The substantial funding will support HMG SC’s expansion to Charleston and two surrounding counties over the next three years. In the words of Program Manager Jane Witowski, “We are on a roll!”


March 11, 2014

Help Me Grow Western New York Receives Implementation Grant

Affiliate to focus on launching call center

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York recently approved just over $450,000 to support implementation of HMG WNY for the next 15 months.

In 2013, with support from Niagara University and local businessman Jeffrey Dann, HMG WNY deeply explored the rationale for launching HMG as a viable and needed strategy to improve the lives of young children and families in Western New York.

HMG WNY will now begin a soft launch in which use of the call center, development of the data infrastructure, and professional/QI development will be phased in over the coming year.

“We are very committed to helping HMG WNY reach its full potential and setting the stage for spreading across NY,” says Amber Slichta, Vice President of HFWCNY.

A hearty congratulations to Help Me Grow Western New York!


Looking for HMG policy briefs?

Click here for policy briefs on de-medicalizing childhood developmental and behavioral concerns; on how HMG promotes protective factors; and on HMG and Medicaid.