An Opportunity to Advance a “Child-First” Agenda
Co-Authored by: Paul H. Dworkin, MD, Founder of Help Me Grow and Sharon Beaudoin, WithinReach Chief Strategy Officer
As debate rages on as to how best reform our health care system, we ask, “What about our children?”
It’s a question likely on the minds of the more than 400 child health advocates gathering in Seattle this week for the 9th annual Help Me Grow National Forum. This convening affords the opportunity for us all to reconsider current approaches to health care reform to ensure enhanced resiliency in children and families by making it a national priority to address developmental concerns even before they become diagnosable conditions.
The Help Me Grow system helps states and communities leverage existing resources to identify vulnerable children, link families to community-based services, and empower families to support children’s healthy development. Help Me Grow began in 1997 as a pilot project in Hartford, Connecticut. Currently, with technical support from Help Me Grow National Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, 28 states operate 99 Help Me Grow systems, which include Help Me Grow Washington, the host affiliate for this year’s Forum.