Dr. Paul Dworkin, Dr. Peter Gorski of The Children’s Trust, and Dr. Jeff Brosco of the University of Miami School of Medicine kicked off a successful and engaging site visit on Tuesday, February 12, in Tallahassee.
They first met with the state Help Me Grow leadership team, which includes high-level officials from state agencies, partner organizations, and advocacy representatives. They also talked with four state senators and representatives, all of whom expressed interest in supporting statewide HMG Florida expansion.
In Miami the following day, Dr. Dworkin and HMG National manager Joanna Bogin met with community leaders from The Children’s Movement (watch their powerful video on investing in early childhood), United Way, The Children’s Trust, the Early Learning Coalition and Switchboard of Miami to discuss plans for growing the Miami initiative and expanding statewide.
Dr. Dworkin and Ms. Bogin then met with representatives from several University of Miami programs and divisions focused on early childhood. As the national team shared key HMG research, policy implications, and testimonial evidence, participants voiced overwhelming support for Help Me Grow as a results-based initiative that has been shown to improve positive outcomes for children.
This excitement extended into Thursday morning’s energetic Miami Leadership Team meeting, which includes members from 2-1-1, the Early Learning Coalition, The Children’s Trust, CCDH, as well as other provider and funding agencies. The meeting also welcomed Debra Harris (Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough affiliate and manager of HMG Tampa Bay) as a guest, in addition to Sandra Navarette (Resource & Care Coordinator, Miami) and Parent Representative Ana Laura de los Santos (Parent to Parent, Miami) as new members of the team.
The visit ended with a town hall meeting with provider agencies hosted at United Way and a funder’s lunch organized by The Allegany Franciscan Ministries, a current sponsor of the Help Me Grow project in Miami.
The trip was productive and engaging, allowing just enough time for Dr. Dworkin and Ms. Bogin to enjoy traditional Cuban cuisine at Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana.
The Florida team is grateful for Ms. Bogin’s and Dr. Dworkin’s unparalleled motivation, guidance, and friendship. HMG National sends special thanks to The Children’s Trust‘s Dr. Peter Gorski, champion for HMG Miami-Dade, and Jennifer Safstrom, Help Me Grow Call Center manager at Switchboard of Miami, and Dr. Jeff Brosco of the University of Miami School of Medicine, who arranged the site visit. Click here to learn more about HMG Florida.