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Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Research

The work of faculty in the child health focal area extends to education and training, research, practice and policy. The areas of interest may be grouped into the following areas:

Early Childhood Systems

Advancing Family-Centered Methods for Maintenance of Certification

Christina Bethell
The purpose of this grant is to enhance the Online Promoting Healthy Development System to allow for its use for the American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification (“MOC”). In the spirit of “disruptive technology”, we seek to up-level the long-standing inertia in the health care field to unleash the largely untapped potential for patient/family engagement to drive the measurement and improvement of health care.
Learn more at Your Child's Healthcare.

Early Childhood Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative

Anne Duggan (PI), Cynthia Minkovitz, Sarah Crowne
This initiative is a national network of several hundred local home visiting programs and home visiting researchers who together carry out dissemination, implementation and comparative effectiveness research to address the top priorities of the national home visiting research agenda.  Major trans-model studies focus on advancing workforce development and implementation systems to support effective visitor - family communication and service coordination.   
Learn more at 
Home Visiting Research Network

Evaluation of New Jersey’s Project LAUNCH

Cynthia Minkovitz (PI), Anne Duggan
Project Launch promotes a comprehensive, coordinated health system to address the physical, emotional, social, behavioral, and cognitive aspects of child wellness from pregnancy to age eight using evidence based practices.

Implementation and Adaptation of the Well Visit Planner in Head Start/Early Head Start and Home Visiting Context

Christina Bethell
Design, implement and evaluate the application of the patient-centered Well Visit Planner tools in HS/EHS contexts. Includes Spanish translation and testing of the tool, a tailored work flow implementation toolkit and content development for WVP content up to age 6.

Mindfulness in Maternal and Child Health/Pediatrics

Christina Bethell, Sandra Hassink, Diane Abetamarco, Erica Sibinga
CAHMI initiated and facilitates a national partnership to assess the state and applications of neuroscience and other research findings on mindfulness and resiliency to promote maternal and child health. Work groups focus on advancing intervention research, population health and clinical care strategies, quality and safety of care and provider training and provider well-being and burnout.
Learn more at Mindfulness and MCH: Cultivating the Art and Science of Inside-Out Leadership.

Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation

Anne Duggan (PI), Cynthia Minkovitz, Sarah Crowne
National multi-site randomized trial and implementation study of evidence-based home visiting through DHHS's Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.  The study assesses impacts on intended outcomes, multi-level factors for service delivery, and program features that moderate impacts.   

Statewide Evaluations of Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs in Maryland, New Jersey and Hawaii

Maryland and New Jersey:  Anne Duggan (PI), Cynthia Minkovitz;  Hawaii:  Elizabeth McFarlane (PI), Anne Duggan
Utilization-focused evaluative research to increase the accessibility, effectiveness, efficiency, coordination, quality and impact of home visiting in improving outcomes and reducing health and developmental disparities of at-risk expectant families and families with young children.

Using Stakeholder-driven Research to Strengthen Coordination of Health and Human Services to Advance Early Childhood Care for Vulnerable Families

Cynthia Minkovitz (co-PI), Anne Duggan (co-PI), Allison West
Research to advance the building of early childhood systems of care for vulnerable families by strengthening the role of home visiting in coordinating health and human services. This project develops a framework for coordination, creates a set of indicators to measure its achievement, and assesses the extent of coordination at the state and local levels.

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Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)

Evaluation of Awareness and Access to Care for Children and Youth with Epilepsy

Cynthia Minkovitz, Kristin Mmari (evaluators for Parents Place)
The goal of this project is to improve service delivery for children and youth with epilepsy in the state of Maryland.

Evaluation of Improving Services for Children and Youth with ASD/DD

Cynthia Minkovitz, Kristin Mmari (evaluators for Parents Place)
The goal of this project is to improve services for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD) in the state of Maryland. 

Promoting early access to screening and follow up for children with autism spectrum disorders, Autism Speaks

Christina Bethell
The purpose of this grant is to integrate and disseminate data across numerous national sources to inform policy and practice improvement, and advance evidence-based advocacy and policy making.
Learn more at The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI).

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Child Health Measurement

Collaboration for Advancing Pediatric Quality Measures, Mt Sinai Pediatric Quality Measures Program Center of Excellence

Christina Bethell
Serve as senior methods advisor and on the project advisory board and assist in the design and implementation of protocols to engage families and develop and test specification for measures related to youth with depression and other mental health problems in ways to appropriately evaluate the quality of pre and post hospitalization care coordination; assess access to high risk obstetrics services and evaluate quality and outcomes for children with asthma.
Learn more at The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI).

Maternal Child Health Measurement Research Network

Christina Bethell, Neal Halfon
(2013-2016) CAHMI partners with UCLA to design MCH measurement framework, research learning network and online and hands-on educational resource related to available MCH measures.  Goal is to engage the MCH research community in advancing actionable measurement at all levels. Involves design of a web-based measures compendium platform on the Data Resource Center Website, ensuring local area use of data. 
www.childhealthdata.org
www.medicalhomedata.org
http://childhealthdata.org/browse/medicaid-perinatal-data-portal

National Maternal and Child Health Data Resources Center (DRC) Cooperative Agreement Program

Christina Bethell
(2006-2015) Partner with MCHB and state, family and program leaders to design, test, develop, disseminate and support the effective, efficient and actionable use of national, state and local data on child and family health as well as perinatal health. Features online micro-data and meta-data query tools and resources. Provide real time and in depth strategic and technical assistance to policymakers, program leaders, advocates, students and researchers in child and family health.
www.nhiscamdata.org

Technical Assistance for Youth Assessment of School Health Involvement Project for the states of Colorado and New Mexico

Christina Bethell
(2011-2015) Provide technical assistance to the Colorado, New Mexico School-Based Health Center Improvement Partnership (SHCIP) to support the development and implementation of the YASHI, with attention to the incorporation of the CAHMI’s NQF endorsed Young Adult Health Care Survey (YAHCS)  into the YASHI for administration in the school-based health center setting to measure changes in the quality of care over time
www.cahmi.org

Use and Impact of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among US Children

Christina Bethell, Narangeral Gombojav
(2010-2014) This study facilitated the design and development of the NHIS Child CAM Supplement and conducted extensive meta-data and micro-data analysis to both evaluate the validity and value of NHIS-CAM data as well as to assess use of this data to address key hypotheses and knowledge gaps in children’s use of CAM and associations with conventional care and medical expenditures.

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Policies to Promote Child Health

Advancing Family-Centered Methods for Maintenance of Certification

Christina Bethell
The purpose of this grant is to enhance the Online Promoting Healthy Development System to allow for its use for ABP Maintenance of Certification (“MOC”). In the spirit of “disruptive technology”, we seek to up-level the long-standing inertia in the health care field to unleash the largely untapped potential for patient/family engagement to drive the measurement and improvement of health care.
www.yourchildshealthcare.org

Cookshop Longitudinal Evaluation

Kristin Mmari (PI), Beth Marshall, Susan Gross, MaryCatherine Augustyn, David Paige
To examine the impact of a nutrition education program, Cookshop, on the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in regards to healthy eating among low-income elementary school students and their parents in New York City. 

District Splitting in Uganda

David Bishai
This study looks at the impact on health system performance from Uganda’s policy of decentralizing control and splitting districts.

Feeding Baltimore’s Children: The Impact of Community Eligibility

Susan Gross (PI), Anne Palmer, Marycatherine Augustyn
Study of the impact of the Community Eligibility Provision on food insecurity among Baltimore City Public School Students and their families.

Promoting Early and Lifelong Health: the Problem of ACES, the Promise of Resilience

Christina Bethell
CAHMI initiated and is partnering nationally on an agenda setting activity on the topic of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), what is known and what remains to be learned about risk factors, contributors, and interventions to prevent and address them. Focus is on the population and health services and policy research agenda.
To learn more, visit  the DRC National Survey of Children's Health News page.

Step Wedge Trial of Crèches and Play Pens to Prevent Child Drowning in Bangladesh

David Bishai, Natalia Alfonso
This study will compare injury rates and child developmental outcomes among children exposed and unexposed to crèche-type day care and the introduction of play pens in rural Bangladesh.

Strengthen the Evidence Base for Maternal and Child Health Programs

Cynthia Minkovitz (PI), Donna Strobino, Holly Grason, Susan Gross
This project provides support and resources to assist State Title V MCH programs in incorporating available scientific evidence in developing State Action Plans and responding to national and state performance measures.
Learn more at www.semch.org, and visit the MCH Digital Library.

Using Census Data on State Public Health Spending to Identify State Policies tied to Lower IMR

David Bishai
This study examines 25 years of data on state spending on health, state spending on hospitals and Medicaid spending to assess the association of spending to infant mortality.

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Child Development

Fetus to Five

Sara Johnson
Study of social influences on self-regulatory development from the prenatal period to age 5. 

Understanding and Promoting Language Development in Young Children in Baltimore City

Sara Johnson (PI), Tracy King, Megan Bair-Merritt
Study of the role of maternal psychosocial distress on language development in very low-SES families, and piloting on novel language processing technology (LENA). 

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Early Life Origins of Disease

To learn more, visit the Center on Early Life Origins of Disease.

Children’s Memorial Food Allergy Study Consortium (Foundation FARE funded study)

Xiaobin Wang, Guoying Wang, Xiumei Hong, Sheila Walker, Deanna Caruso, Corrinne Keet, and faculty from BSPH, SoM, Northwestern University (NU), Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (LCH) and University of Pittsburgh
A consortium created for collaboration to further research on food allergy using data obtained from the Children’s Memorial Hospital Food Allergy Study, the Chicago Family Cohort. The consortium supports a dozen projects ranging from genetics, epigenetics, epidemiological and clinical determinants, to psychosocial stress due to food allergies.

Early Life Determinants of Obesity in U.S. Urban Low Income Minority Birth Cohort

Xiaobin Wang, Bruce Lee, Tina Cheng, Sally Radovick, Xiumei Hong, Guoying Wang, Hongkai Ji, and other faculty at BSPH, SOM and Boston Medical Center
The major goals of this project are to identify early life risk and protective factors for obesity development; explore the mediating effect of the epigenome; and to develop a Virtual Birth Cohort (VBC) systems dynamics model.

Post Genome-Wide Association Study of Food Allergy

Xiaobin Wang, Xiumei Hong, Deanna Caruso, Guoying Wang, Sheila Walker, Zhu Chen, and faculty from BSPH, SoM, BUMC, Northwestern University (NU), Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (LCH) and University of Pittsburgh
The central focus of this study is to further replicate promising genetic variants identified by the ongoing GWAS and to conduct fine mapping to search for potential causative genes of food allergy.

Genome-wide Association Study of Preterm Birth

Xiaobin Wang, Guoying Wang, Xiumei Hong and faculty from BSPH, SoM and Boston University Medical Center (BUMC)
The major goal of this project is to conduct genome-wide association study to identify susceptibility genes of preterm delivery in a multi-ethnic, high-risk, U.S. birth cohort enrolled in Boston.

Prenatal Multi-Level Stressors and Alterations in Maternal and Fetal Epigenomes

Xiaobin Wang, Pam Surkan, Winnie Tang, Xiumei Hong, Hongkai Ji, and other faculty at BSPH, SOM and Boston Medical Center
We aim to test the hypothesis that maternal psychosocial stressors can affect maternal and offspring DNA methylation profiles that is detectable at birth in the Boston Birth Cohort.

Preterm Birth, Maternal and Cord Blood Metabolome, and Child Metabolic Risk

Xiaobin Wang, Frank Hu, Xiumei Hong, Guoying Wang, Irina Burd, Sally Radovick, Hongkai Ji, and other faculty at BSPH, SOM, Harvard, MIT and Boston Medical Center
This study aims to investigate whether prematurity and maternal and fetal metabolic characteristics can jointly affect the future development of child adverse metabolic outcomes in the Boston Birth cohort.

Prospective Birth Cohort Study on Pre- and Peri-natal Determinants of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities

Xiaobin Wang/Dani Fallin (Co-PIs), Anne Riley, Xiumei Hong, Deanna Caruso, Guoying Wang, Zhu Chen, Mengying Li, and other faculty at BSPH and KKI and Boston Medical Center
The goal is to investigate preconception, pre- and peri-natal risk factors and diagnostic and service patterns for ASD in a prospective birth cohort.

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