We hope you are enjoying your summer. July’s Help Me Grow National E-Note contains important updates from the National Center as well as exciting news from affiliates of the HMG National Network. As a reminder, if you have a story or news to share, please send us your news via the Affiliate section of the Help Me Grow National Center website or email Tamisha Phillip from the National Center staff.

National Center News

New HMG Data Collection and Reporting Guidelines Now Available  
The Help Me Grow National Center developed detailed Data Collection and Reporting Guidelines to describe the Indicators used to evaluate Help Me Grow at the local, state, and national levels. Included in the guidelines is a description of each Indicator, together with the process for collecting and reporting these data among all HMG affiliates. You can now find these guidelines posted on the affiliate-side of the National Center website. Read the National Center’s perspective on the new “Needs Met” Indicator in our recent HMG Blog Post.

An article just released in the Journal for Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics highlights the Help Me Grow Model as “one example of a statewide framework that can connect parents with developmental questions to appropriate resources, increasing parent engagement in early childhood.” This article discusses the existing opportunities to utilize Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs as a venue to address developmental concerns and steer families to appropriate services, such as HMG. Please click here to access the article.

 Annual Dworkin Lecture Focuses on Social Determinants 
The fifth annual Paul Dworkin Pediatric Chair Lecture was presented recently by Arvin Garg, MD, MPH, of Boston Medical Center Pediatrics and Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Garg’s lecture focused on the social determinants of health, which include poverty and other circumstances in which people live and work. He stated that poverty is associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions; increased developmental and behavioral delays; and poorer academic achievements. Dr. Garg also pointed out children from low-income families experience poorer health outcomes across their lifespans compared to those with higher socioeconomic statuses. The presentation highlighted Dr. Garg’s innovative “We Care” program, launched during his academic general pediatrics fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore after reaching out to seek advice from Dr. Dworkin in Hartford. The program was designed to increase the identification of family needs and referrals to services during well-child visits. Read more about Dr. Garg’s lecture, his “We Care” program, and screening for social determinants of health here.

Leveraging Medicaid to Enhance Child Health Outcomes
In his latest blog post, Dr. Paul Dworkin shares highlights from his participation on the recent panel discussion at the Campaign for Grade Level Reading Funder Huddle, which include national examples of the innovative approaches to better utilize Medicaid to transform child health services as well as address social determinants of health, which are proven to have an even greater impact on health outcomes compared to medical care. As examples, Dr. Dworkin highlighted Help Me Grow’s success in diffusing innovations that promote early identification and intervention for children at risk for developmental or behavioral concerns, such as the Care Coordination Collaborative Model and Mid-Level Developmental Assessment.

Proposed Health Care Law Puts Vulnerable Young Children At Increased Risk; Impedes Movement and Diverts Energy From Collective Progress
With the senate currently in the throes of health care debate and the most recent version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), unveiled on July 13, advocates and champions for children’s optimal healthy development are voicing grave concerns that the BCRA would be detrimental to babies and families with young children. Chief among these misgivings is the fact that the BCRA puts children’s health care coverage at risk through severe cuts to Medicaid, a crucial lifeline for vulnerable children and families. Thirty-seven million children rely on Medicaid, including 40 percent of all children with special health care needs, and more than 40 percent of all births are covered by Medicaid. They would all be harmed by the radical changes in the BCRA, which would serve to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You can get involved through the many organizations currently working to provide support to those interested in taking action and urging Senators to protect Medicaid and vote no on the BCRA. “Threats to children’s health coverage, even in the absence of the passage of detrimental legislation, have already had a harmful impact,” said Dr. Paul Dworkin. “Advocates and funders are now compelled to commit their efforts and resources to protect against losses in coverage, as opposed to advancing innovation in support of promoting children’s healthy development. The need to ‘circle the wagons’ detracts from our momentum and progress.”


Affiliate Network

Help Me Grow Florida Leads Successful Annual Meeting
Help Me Grow Florida had the privilege of meeting with our affiliates throughout the state during our Annual Meeting at the Rosen Plaza of Orlando, June 7-9. We used this time together to train and communicate with staff and affiliates by hosting meetings and information sessions for our administration, care coordination and outreach partners. Included in the series of workshops were sessions on STAR, ESAC, ASQ, 17/18 Contract and Subcontract, Marketing 101 and Social Media and many more. Listing all of our activities from the meeting would be quite the feat, as our attendees participated in so many activities that will help them contribute to Help Me Grow and its mission. Additionally, many participants earned CEUs for quite a few of the workshops, including most of the ones listed above.
Overall, this meeting helped our staff regroup and evaluate our personal efforts in driving Help Me Grow Florida toward success. I’d like to thank all of our speakers for participating in the event, including the following outstanding individuals: Lili Murphy, Charly Nottke, Tamara Price, Dr. Mimi Graham, Brianna Barnebee, Dr. Monica Hayes, Lisa Roberts and Kati Settle. It’s always a pleasure to be in the company of so many individuals who are dedicated to their communities. We’re thrilled to see what this year will bring!
Check out photos from the meeting on Facebook!


Parent Video, HMG Alameda County System Overview
The first video “Help Me Grow: Family perspectives” was designed specifically for parent audiences to illustrate how parents can be supported by Help Me Grow. It is also intended to convey that Help Me Grow supports parents with a range of child development-related questions and resources and to normalize the experiences of parents around seeking information and support for their child.  

Please click on this YouTube Link (for sharing via the internet) to see the Parent video.
To download the full file click this Dropbox link .

The second video “Help Me Grow – Supporting Early Childhood Development in Alameda County” was designed to give policymakers and system leaders a better understanding of the Help Me Grow system. Highlighting the crucial importance of early identification, the video shows how Help Me Grow not only helps families answer childhood development questions and navigate available services, but also works with leaders to build a strong early childhood system across the county.
Please click the YouTube Link to view the HMG Alameda County System Overview video.

HMG Affiliate Network – State Leadership updates
Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., named as CDC Director and ATSDR Administrator
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D  has appointed Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. as the 17th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). With her most recent role as the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), Dr. Fitzgerald has been a wonderful champion and advocate for Help Me Grow in Georgia. We congratulate Dr. Fitzgerald and wish her continued success in her new role . Click here to read a full announcement on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ website.
Shya Tran assumes new role as HMG state lead in Minnesota
As the Help Me Grow Implementation Coordinator for the State of Minnesota, Shya Tran’s role represents an interagency initiative of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Department of Human Services (DHS) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to scale and spread Help Me Grow. Shya has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and her experience includes being a preschool teacher, K-8 art teacher and an at-risk youth counselor for middle and high school students.


Have a story to share with HMG National?
Send us your news via the Affiliate News section of the Help Me Grow National Center Affiliate Dashboard

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