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Addressing Health Disparities in Early Childhood

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 1 pm EDT

Preschool class raising hands

The first years of a child's life are some of the most important in terms of cognitive, social, and physical development. Early experiences occurring when a child's brain and behavior are being shaped affect a child's ability to learn, to get along with others, and to develop an overall state of well-being. Unfortunately, not all children have the same positive experiences or opportunities, which can lead to disparities. Social, economic, and environmental factors have been closely linked to health disparities.  

Research suggests that many disparities in overall health and well-being are rooted in early childhood. For example, those who lived in poverty as young children are more at-risk for leading causes of illness and death, and are more likely to experience poor quality of life. This growing problem costs the United States billions of dollars annually. Our understanding of the lasting value of early experiences continues to grow. Interventions that support healthy development in early childhood reduce disparities, have lifelong positive impacts, and are prudent investments. Addressing these disparities effectively offers opportunities to help children, and benefits our society as a whole.

This session of Grand Rounds discusses how, together, we can address health disparities in early childhood through increased collaborations, public health partnerships, and early intervention.

In this session of Beyond the Data, Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Ross Thompson discuss the positive impact of early childhood education and community intervention on young children’s health and well-being. Tune in to see how some programs, like ZERO TO THREE, are making it easier for families of young children to receive the care that they need.

Presented By:

Ross Thompson, PhD
Board President, Zero to Three
Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis
"Origins and Impacts of Disparities in Early Childhood" 
Paul H. Dworkin, MD
Executive Vice President for Community Child Health &
Founding Director, Help Me Grow National Center
Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
"Making Connections to Support Healthy Development for All Children"
Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH, FAAP
Director, Division of Human Development and Disability
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC
"Public Health Programs to Improve Early Childhood Health"
Mary Ann McCabe, PhD, ABPP
Past-President , Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine
"Strategies to Promote Healthy Behavioral Development in Childhood"

Facilitated By:

John Iskander, MD, MPH, Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH, Deputy Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds 
Susan Laird, MSN, RN, Communications Director, Public Health Grand Rounds

Additional Resources

Continuing Education

This session is available for Continuing Education. Click here for more information.

  • Page last reviewed: March 21, 2016
  • Page last updated: March 23, 2016
  • Content source: