DHDD Newsletter – August 2020

Newsletter-Human Development and Disability: Improving Health, Helping Children

A Note from the DHDD Director:

Dear colleagues –

This month I came back from my COVID-19 deployment and was able to jump fully back into the work of the division. I attended several partner meetings, kick-off meetings, and program discussions. It’s always encouraging to hear how much our partners appreciate our programmatic and research efforts and how much our work benefits people with disabilities, their caregivers and families, and health professionals.

I also had the opportunity to meet with our new Center Director, Dr. Karen Remley, and share the work of DHDD and of our partners. Dr. Remley is very excited and supportive of our work I look forward to working closely with her to help ensure that the work on behalf of people with disabilities continues to be a priority.

Take care and stay well,
Georgina Peacock

In the Spotlight

Welcome NCBDDD’s New Director!

Karen Remley

Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, has officially joined the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) as Center Director. Dr. Remley has more than 30 years of experience in public health and health care, with leadership roles in the public and private sectors. Her “north star” has always been children and families, and she has shaped her career around helping every family have the best opportunity for health and well-being.

Prior to joining NCBDDD, Dr. Remley served as Senior Advisor to the COVID-19 response for the Office of the Commissioner, Virginia Department of Health, where she was instrumental in increasing and assuring testing for COVID-19 to ensure it was widely available across the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also worked as a Professor of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Remley has served on many national committees and commissions working on public health education, health equity, and patient safety, including her roles as Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Commissioner of Health for the Commonwealth of Virginia under two governors; Chief Medical Director of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Virginia; and Chief Executive Officer of Physicians for Peace. In 2018, she served as the Inaugural Senior Fellow at the de Beaumont Foundation, a foundation dedicated to pragmatic solutions to improve public health.

Dr. Remley earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, an MPH at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her MD from University of Missouri in Kansas City. She completed her pediatrics residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. DHDD is excited to have Dr. Remley on board!

CDC Foundation and Georgia Tech Partner on Accessibility

Asian young blind woman with headphone using computer with refreshable braille display or braille terminal a technology device for persons with visual disabilities.

More than 61 million Americans navigate life with a disability, and to abide by health and public safety orders during a pandemic, they require adequate access and support at home, work, school, their community, and while traveling. To that end, the CDC Foundation awarded a contract to the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI) at Georgia Institute of Technology to help assess, develop, and produce accessible emergency materials in response to COVID-19.

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Partnering with NASEM to Promote Emotional Well-being

Upset lonely african girl holding teddy bear looking away

To help support additional emotional well-being needs during COVID, DHDD is partnering with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Children, Youth, and Families to build coping skills in children, adolescents, and their families. This project will support the development of online resources that use evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to increase resilience to anxiety and stress. NASEM will be reaching out to additional DHDD partners who can assist with widespread dissemination of these new tools, which will be available in English and Spanish.

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Newly funded Outcomes and Developmental Data Assistance Center

Little Asian boy with a hearing impairment

CDC recently awarded new funding to The Regents of the University of Colorado to serve as the first of its kind NCBDDD’s Outcomes and Developmental Data Assistance Center for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (ODDACE). This new Center will expand public health capacity to gather, analyze, and use intervention and developmental outcome data of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH).

Over the course of this three-year project NCBDDD’s ODDACE will work with selected states to support children who are D/HH by

  1. documenting the receipt of intervention services,
  2. assessing the relationship between intervention services and developmental outcomes (including language), and
  3. promoting practices to ensure success in early childhood.

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New Resources

Healthy People 2030

2030 blue street sign on white background - 3D rendering illustration

On August 18, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled the latest edition of Healthy People.

Healthy People 2030 contains a set of science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving health and well-being in the United States. As the lead coordinators for the Disability and Health Workgroup, DHDD staff collaborated with the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), DoEd, HUD, and the U. of Minnesota to develop 5 core objectives in the topic area.

In addition, DHDD and other NCBDDD staff are also part of the Maternal, Infant, and Child Health Workgroup, the Early and Middle Childhood Workgroup, and the Hearing and Other Sensory or Communication Disorders Workgroup, contributing to a variety of objectives focused on healthy child development. Examples include developmental screening and services for children with autism spectrum disorder, developmentally appropriate treatment for children with ADHD, and screening and intervention for infants with hearing loss.

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SEED Forecast Announcement (CDC-RFA-DD-21-001)

SEED funding map

On September 3, 2020, CDC will publish a new Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), CDC-RFA-DD-21-001, Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) Follow-up Studies. CDC plans to fund up to 6 recipients to participate in epidemiological follow-up studies of children previously enrolled in SEED. This project will add knowledge about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including risk factors for ASD and the expression of ASD, from childhood through early adulthood, and information that can be used to improve the health and functioning of individuals with ASD as they mature.

The application period opens September 3, 2020 and closes November 10, 2020.

Find additional information on the SEED funding opportunity.


Support for transition from adolescent to adult health care among adolescents with and without mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders — United States, 2016–2017

Doctor showing young patient test results on a tablet computer

A CDC study found that in 2016–2017, most adolescents with mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders (MBDDs) did not receive the recommended support from their healthcare providers to help them transition from pediatric care to adult care. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends transition planning for all adolescents starting at age 12 years that includes the healthcare provider speaking with the adolescent separate from family members, discussing the transition to adult care, and coaching the adolescent in taking charge of their own care. This transition planning is particularly important for adolescents with MBDDs to help prevent potential negative outcomes during and after a healthcare transition.

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DHDD’S mission is to lead inclusive programs to optimize the health and development of children and adults with, or at risk for, disabilities.

Newsletter Footer-National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Human Development and Disabilities