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Addressing Health Disparities in Early Childhood

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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.

Beyond the Data

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.

Resources for Parents
Presented By
Ross A. Thompson, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Board President, Zero to Three

University of California at Davis
Paul H. Dworkin, MD
Executive Vice President, Community Child Health;
Founding Director, Help Me Grow National Center,
Connecticut Children's Medical Center;
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH
Director, Division of Human Development and Disability
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC
Mary Ann McCabe, PhD, ABPP
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
George Washington University School of Medicine
Facilitated By
John Iskander, MD, MPH
Scientific Director
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
Deputy Scientific Director
Susan Laird, MSN, RN
Communications Director
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Additional Resources
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Continuing Education
This session is available for Continuing Education (CE). Register here using the course information below.

CDC Course Code: PHGR10
CPE UAN: 0387-0000-16-003-H04-P

For more information, see Grand Rounds Continuing Education.

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Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
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