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Christina D. Bethell, PhD

  • Director, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative
  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E4152
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

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PhD, University of Chicago, 1996
MBA, University of California, Berkeley, 1990
MPH, University of California, Berkeley, 1990


Since 1996, Dr. Bethell has been a national leader in the development of policy, practice and research applications of population health and systems performance measurement and family and community centered improvement methods. As founding director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) and the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health ( she has initiated and led the collaborative development, validation and national, state and local implementation and IT based public reporting of child, family and community health and health systems performance measurement tools

The CAHMI, founded in 1996, has been a visionary research, policy and translational resource, leading all phases in the collaborative design, testing and implementation of innovative, family-centered measurement approaches to build knowledge and shape and drive systems improvement for children, youth and families at the national, state and local levels. This includes the design, testing and national integration of the CAHPS survey for children with special health care needs survey, the National Health Interview Survey Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supplement and a range of national endorsed health systems performance and health care outcomes measures used in a range of national surveys, including the now yearly National Survey of Children’s Health.

A special focus is on assessing and building knowledge related to positive health development, social and emotional well-being and family and community health. She leads the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (, supported through HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau as well as efforts to develop, test and disseminate family-driven quality measurement and improvement tools such as the Well Visit Planner. She is passionate about enabling data-driven partnerships and translating the new brain sciences, mindfulness and other mind-body methods to transform health and related services, with a focus on promoting self and community led healing, addressing childhood trauma, promoting positive health and advancing High Reliability Organizations. She earned an MBA an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley and PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago. She teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and has completed several trainings in neuroscience of child development and organizational management with the Mindful Awareness Research Center, the NeuroLeadership Institute and others.

Honors and Awards

2017 Association of Maternal and Child Health John MacQueen Award

2012 MCH National Outstanding Leadership Award

2001 Family Voices National Angel Award

  • Child health
  • Adolescent health
  • Maternal health
  • Childhood trauma and resilience
  • Healthy development of children
  • Survey design
  • Survey development
  • Application and dissemination of data
  • Population health
  • System performance
  • Measurement and improvement
  • Econometrics
  • Health economics

Select Publications

  • Sege, R., Bethell, C., Linkenbach, J., Jones, J., Klika, B. & Pecora, P.J. (2017). Balancing adverse childhood experiences with HOPE: New insights into the role of positive experience on child and family development. Boston: The Medical Foundation. Accessed at
  • Bethell, CD, Simpson, LA, Solloway, M, et al. Prioritizing Possibilities for Child and Family Well-Being: A National Agenda to Address Adversity and Promote Resilience in Children’s Health Services. Academic Pediatrics (In Press)
  • Bethell, CD, Carle, A, Hudziak, J, et al. Methods to Assess Adverse Childhood Experiences of Children and Families: Towards Resilience and Well-Being Based Approaches in Policy and Practice. Academic Pediatrics (In Press)
  • Mimila NA, Chung PJ, Elliott MN, Bethell CD, Chacon S, Biely C, Contreras S, Chavis T, Bruno Y, Moss T, Coker TR, Well-Child Care Redesign: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Parent Experiences in the PARENT Trial, Academic Pediatrics (2017), doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2017.02.004.
  • Vohra S, McClafferty H, Becker D, Bethell C, Culbert T, King-Jones S, Rosen L, Sibinga E, Bailey M, Weydert J, Brown M, Salus T. Mind-body therapies in children and youth. Pediatrics. 2016;138(3). doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1896.