2018 Health Equity Chat
In observance of National Minority Health Month, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities hosted a Twitter #HealthEquityChat on April 18th. Participants discussed how partnerships enable organizations to reach broader audiences and advance overarching missions, highlighted different types of partnerships, and shared resources for community members. The chat was co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the FDA Office of Minority Health.

Fifteen States Across the U.S. Are Striving to Become “States of Solutions” for Improving Health Equity
The 100 Million Healthier Lives initiative, convened by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is
pleased to announce that networks in 15 states across the country have stepped forward to improve health equity as “States of Solutions”: Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

A Life-or-Death Crisis for Black Mothers
A new episode of The Daily podcast takes a look into the alarming reality that black mothers and infants in the United States are far more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts, and the fact that this disparity is tied intrinsically to the lived experience of being a black woman in America.

Our Systems Meant to Help Are Hurting Black Families
When does mandated reporting hurt rather than improve health outcomes? The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality shines a spotlight on a troubling example of when systems meant to support children’s health end up failing black mothers and children.

HRSA-supported team improves birth outcomes in U.S. South
New research published in the American Journal of Public Health found that HRSA-funded efforts to combat infant mortality in the South are improving multiple key indicators. The study, led by researchers from the Health Resources and Services Administration, shows early elective delivery decreased by 22 percent in the South versus 14 percent in other regions. 

High-quality preschool can support healthy development and learning
A new fact sheet from Child Trends and the Alliance for Early Success lays out the benefits of public preschool. Experts’ understanding of what contributes to lasting academic benefits is still growing, but existing research shows that better-quality preschool is generally connected to better outcomes for children.

Also from Child Trends, find out how asking preschoolers “Why?” can improve their learning.

ZTT’s Strolling ThunderTM May Be Coming to a State Near You
On May 8, babies and families from all 50 states and Washington, DC stormed Capitol Hill for ZERO TO THREE’s second Strolling ThunderTM. Families met with Members of Congress and their staff to share powerful stories about what their babies need to thrive. While the event in Washington, DC is over, partners are taking the event to state capitals across the country:

New infographic on Behavioral Health Integration from the CDC
Pediatric Behavioral Health Integration is one approach that can improve access to mental health services for children and their families. Partnerships between primary medical care practices and mental health care specialists can make mental health services more accessible for some families. 

Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8
The latest findings from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network provide evidence that the prevalence of ASD is higher than previously reported estimates and continues to vary among certain racial/ethnic groups and communities.

Is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative the Future of Philanthropy?
The for-profit limited liability company is poised to become the preferred vehicle for the nation’s elite philanthropists. What it gives up in tax benefits it repays in flexibility, privacy, and control. This SSIR article begs the critical questions: Will the public gain from added investment in social good, or lose from ceding even more power to the wealthy?

Health is More Important Than Wealth, Child Development Study Finds
A report published in the Lancet found that children across the globe will hit the same early childhood milestones, as long as basic needs are met. The research is part of a growing trend in low- and middle-income countries to focus on child development.

For news and resources on capacity building, funding opportunities, trainings, events, webinars and more, log on to the HMG National Center’s new FUNDING & CAPACITY BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES web page. 


Intergenerational consequences: Women’s experiences of discrimination in pregnancy predict infant social-emotional development
A new study explores the relationship between perceived discrimination during pregnancy and social-emotional developmental outcomes in the first year of life. Longitudinal analysis of 704 predominately Black and Latina, socioeconomically disadvantaged, urban young women demonstrated that reported discrimination n predicted separation issues and negative emotionality among children at 6 months and 1 year. Results suggest the potential for intergenerational effects of discrimination, with implications for support to women before and during pregnancy.
Rosenthal L, Earnshaw VA, Moore JM, Ferguson DN, Lewis T, Reid AE, Lewis JB, Stasko EC, Tobin J, Ickovics JR. Intergenerational consequences: Women’s experiences of discrimination in pregnancy predict infant social-emotional development at 6 months and 1 year. Journal of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. 2018;39(3):228-237.


National Forum Materials Available
Materials from the 9th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum in Seattle are available for download on the affiliate side of the National Center website, including presentations and other resources from breakout sessions, Washington host sessions, and general sessions.

Dr. Dworkin Visits Escambia County, Florida
HMG Founder Dr. Paul Dworkin spent a day and a half in Florida, visiting with county officials, faith-based community leaders, early childhood system leaders and organizational partners, stakeholders, and families around Pensacola on May 21 and 22. The visit was organized by Achieve Escambia, the community’s first cradle to career collective impact effort focused on the complex system of education and workforce development. With United Way of Escambia County serving as the fiscal backbone, Achieve is an “all-in” partnership of Escambia County stakeholders from the education, nonprofit, business, faith, community, civic, and philanthropic sectors committed to aligning community resources so everyone is empowered to achieve success. The Studer Community Institute interviewed Dr. Dworkin and Tamara Price, statewide director of Help Me Grow Florida, in advance of the visit to raise awareness and promote participation from the community.

A Pound of Cure… How Might We Pay For an Ounce of Prevention?
A new blog from thought leaders at The Office for Community Health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where the HMG National Center is located, highlights an annual report recently published by the PwC Health Research Institute that identifies key topics that will have the most impact on the health care industry in 2018. “We are pleased to see that the report identified addressing social determinants of health as a risk-mitigation strategy for health care providers. This is significant because treating social determinants of health like other risk mitigation strategies, such as infection prevention and emergency preparedness, allows the sector to place a value on upstream interventions and thus offers an impetus to fund them. The report also identified social determinants of health as an important strategy that health systems can leverage to create efficiencies that will facilitate adaptation to an uncertain environment as payment reform efforts escalate.”


Video Series Promotes Awareness, Strategic Partnerships, HMG Objectives in California
Throughout the month of May, First 5 LA is releasing of a series of First 5 Explainer videos to help leaders, lawmakers and the public better understand key issues that impact California’s young children and their families, starting with the first release on May 7th, First 5 LA Explains: Developmental Screening and Early Intervention. This video will be followed by First 5 Explains: Home Visiting (May 14th) and First 5 Explains: Early Learning (May 21). “The distribution and promotion of the developmental screening video raises awareness for the need to improve early identification and intervention systems in California, allowing policy makers, providers, community members and families of young children to all receive the same message: that what happens in the first 5 years affects us all.  By bringing the issue into the forefront of public conversations, we are laying the groundwork for policy asks that everyone who intersects with the lives of children, can support,” says Heather Little, Health Policy and Systems Director for First 5 Association of California.

California Partners with CDC on New Developmental Journey Checklist
In collaboration with the CDC’s Learn The Signs, Act Early! campaign and First 5 California, First 5 Association is proud to present an updated version of the Developmental Journey Checklist. Complete with developmental, social-emotional, and dental milestone markers, parents can better track their child’s development. The tool also specifically calls out those months when a developmental screening is due and provides an indicator for whether the screen is “on track” or “needs follow up”. One version is for general use and a second can be customized to include your local contact information. HMG CA State Leads generously encourage all HMG partners to leverage the new materials.  

Investing in Child Health to Ensure Equity, Population Health, and Long Term Cost Savings: Opportunities in State Health Care Reform
Public and private health insurers are adopting value-based payment models to contain costs and provide incentives to physicians to ensure healthier people. While we know that “health payment reform efforts that address children’s health and development support the best long-term societal outcomes and have the biggest potential to reduce health disparities, and ultimately, health care expenditures… children’s health services are rarely included in value-based payment models.” The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) has released an Issue Brief, prepared by Lisa Honigfeld, Vice President for Health Initiatives at CHDI and Paul Dworkin, outlining Connecticut-based initiatives to push transformation of child health services to the forefront, and recommendations in developing a “Children’s First” Health Reform Agenda. “While we have long advocated for including child health services in health care reform efforts, we are now emboldened to argue that child health services transformation should be the top priority,” said Dr. Paul Dworkin.

Check out new resources shared to the affiliate side of the HMG National website this month:


Log on to the affiliate dashboard and click ‘Share Your News’ or send directly to