TMW Center Newsletter December 2018

December 01, 2018

Ending a Great Year on a High Note

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe December is already upon us. What an amazing year it has been!

We’ve just wrapped our first conference, Leveraging the Healthcare System to Impact Educational Disparities, and it was a huge success. We were overwhelmed by the turnout, encouraged by the thoughtful discussion, and inspired to continue the conversation in 2019 and beyond. Our most heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part. Check out some of the highlights from the day:

As we look back on 2018, we remain forever grateful for the parents and caregivers who have inspired us, as well as the generous funders and supporters who have allowed us to do the work about which we are so passionate. We could not have done it without you. As we look ahead to all that we want to accomplish in Chicago, to our Palm Beach County partnership, and to other exciting local and national projects on the horizon, we are eager for the new year to begin. As you move through the holiday season, if you are in a position to consider year-end giving, we hope you will think of the TMW Center.

Wishing you and your family joyful holidays, and a happy and healthy 2019.

Warmest regards,

Dana + John

Co-Directors, TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health

Healthcare’s Role in Improving Educational Outcomes

On November 30th, the TMW Center welcomed pediatricians, intervention specialists, practitioners, policy experts, and researchers to the University of Chicago for Leveraging the Healthcare System to Impact Educational Disparities, the inaugural Rohit and Harvanit Kumar Conference on the Economics of Early Childhood Education. By gathering thought-leaders from across disciplines, we aimed to elevate the role of the healthcare sector in intervening early and having a lasting impact on a child’s educational success and overall well-being. “The existing infrastructure for repeated, near universal access to both children and their caregivers, as well as the high-level of trust in physicians as a source of information make the healthcare system a natural fit for this work,” explains TMW Center Co-Director Dana Suskind. From an economic perspective, fellow Co-Director John List agrees, “This problem demands that we leverage the healthcare system, not only because of scaling considerations, but also due to the wonderful access and cost-side advantages the system offers.”

Our expert speakers helped us build a common understanding of the broad landscape of healthcare and healthcare policy as it relates to children, particularly those growing up in low-income households. Through the lenses of implementation researchers as well program developers and directors, we explored the opportunities and challenges faced when scaling child and parent-focused interventions through the healthcare sector. After a vibrant day, we emerged with fresh ideas and questions for future research, policy, and ongoing discussion.

Rethinking How Pediatrics Can Better Support Parents

As we at the TMW Center continue to think about ways the healthcare system can be leveraged to impact educational disparities, we’re thrilled to see others take on the same important mission. The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), a non-profit policy organization, has recently launched Pediatrics Supporting Parents, an initiative that aims to enhance the standard of care in pediatric well-child visits.

As part of the initiative, CSSP conducted a national search to identify promising evidence-based initiatives that focus on supporting the social and emotional well-being of young children and their parents. Selected programs participate in CSSP-led site visits designed to reveal a 360-degree view of their work, including seeing the program in action, hearing from healthcare professionals and community partners, and understanding the family experience. In particular, CSSP researchers hope to learn more about effective strategies for advancing social and emotional well-being, how to adapt to community and population differences, and issues of scalability. CSSP will develop recommendations from the study findings and share them with stakeholders through a variety of medium.

With so many inspiring initiatives to choose from, the TMW Center is tremendously honored to have been nominated for a site visit. “CSSP’s work so beautifully aligns with our mission,” says Co-Director Dana Suskind. “Healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to support families with vital information. Using science to inform this practice is profoundly important and we’re excited for the opportunity to contribute to the conversation.”