Mom And Toddler Playing With Wooden Toys

Advancing Early Relational Health

Transforming child health care and early childhood system building


What We Work For

In partnership with many stakeholders and leaders in child health, public health, and communities we are working to further galvanize interest in an early relational health frame, believing that there is an urgent need and an immediate opportunity. 

Early relational health (ERH) is an emergent term that has galvanized the interest of many leaders in the child and public health sectors and simply means that healthy and positive child development emerges best in the context of nurturing, warm, and responsive early parent/caregiver child relationships, when children are surrounded by safe communities with strong trust and social connectedness.

How We Do It

By engaging with child health systems, thought partners, early childhood system builders, policy and network leaders, parent voices, and practitioners in co-creating, innovating, testing, and disseminating strategic activities, we are advancing an early relational health frame.

In addition:

  1. We maintain the National Coordinating Hub on Early Relational Health that builds key trainings, materials, and resources to improve practices and systems.
  2. We staff the National Early Relational Health Advisory Panel that advises the Coordinating Hub and helps advance a national consensus on foundational relationships
  3. We partner with strategic networks to test, disseminate, and measure the impact of ERH resources to advance foundational relations. Such networks include Reach Out and Read and EC-LINC.
  4. We work to expand next-generation leadership that will advance early relational health at CSSP and beyond.

 

 

In partnership with many stakeholders and leaders in child health, public health, and communities we are working to further galvanize interest in an early relational health frame, believing that there is an urgent need and an immediate opportunity. 

Early relational health (ERH) is an emergent term that has galvanized the interest of many leaders in the child and public health sectors and simply means that healthy and positive child development emerges best in the context of nurturing, warm, and responsive early parent/caregiver child relationships, when children are surrounded by safe communities with strong trust and social connectedness.

  • Sherri L. Alderman, MD MPH, IMHM-E®, FAAP, board certified Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician
  • Tyson Barker, Research Associate, the Center for Translational Neuroscience; Director of the Early Childhood Precision, Innovation, and Shared Measurement (EC PRISM), the University of Oregon
  • Brenda Blasingame, Program Manager, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative
  • Rahil D. Briggs, PsyD, National Director, HealthySteps
  • Phil Fisher, PhD., the Philip H. Knight Chair, Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon; Director of the University of Oregon Center for Translational Neuroscience
  • Bryn Fortune, Family and Parent Leadership Director
  • Janice Gruendel, PhD, research professor at the University of North Carolina—Charlotte in the Academy for Research in Community Health, Engagement, and Services (ARCHES)
  • Alicia Lieberman, PhD, the Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs at the UCSF Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Child Trauma Research Program
  • Dina Lieser, MD, Senior Adviser at HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems
  • Junlei Li, PhD, the Saul Zaentz Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Joan Lombardi, Ph.D., directs Early Opportunities LLC
  • Dayna Long, MD, primary care pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
  • Tish MacInnis, Alabama Strengthening Families Coordinator, Alabama Partnership for Children (APC)
  • Kimberly Martini-Cavell, MA, Executive Director, Help Me Grow National Center
  • Mary Mackrain, M.Ed, IMH-E® (IV), Managing Director, EDC
  • Alan Mendelsohn, MD, is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center
  • Cynthia Minkovitz, MD, the William H. Gates, Sr. Professor and Chair in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health; Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University
  • Kaitlin Mulcahy, Associate Director, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University
  • Colleen Murphy, Vice President of the Early Childhood Knowledge Navigator, Ounce of Prevention
  • Cynthia Osborne, PhD, Founder and Director, the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP); Associate Dean for Academic Strategies at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Anthony Queen, Parent Liaison, Great Start Collaborative in Kent County, MI
  • Kate Rosenblum, PhD, IMH-E., clinical and developmental psychologist; Professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Michigan
  • Robert Sege, MD, PhD, Executive Director, the Charles H. Hood Foundation
  • Nikki Shearman, PhD, Chief of Strategic Initiatives, Reach Out and Read
  • Lynlee Tanner Stapleton, Ph.D., Public Health Analyst, HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau in the Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems
  • Dana M. Winters, PhD, Director of Simple Interactions and Academic Programs at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Med at Saint Vincent College

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and Reach Out and Read National (ROR) have partnered to advance Early Relational Health, the belief that—when children are surrounded by safe communities with strong trust and social connectedness along with nurturing, warm, and responsive early parent/caregiver-child relationships—healthier and more positive child development emerges.

This livestream series, hosted by David Willis, MD, FAAP, a Senior Fellow at CSSP, will explore innovative and thought provoking efforts to advance Early Relational Health in child health transformation and communities and why it is important for those across the early childhood field to embrace this transformational model and mindset for improving child and family well-being.

In our first conversation, panelists will discuss the development of an initial set of training modules and materials for ROR pediatricians about observing autonomic emotional connection as learned from the key elements within the Welch Emotional Connection Scale (WECS). These observations have opened groundbreaking discussions about how ROR pediatricians can partner with families to support their foundational relationships as pediatric care moves toward advancing “relationships as a vital sign.”

Our Experts

Davidwillis 2

David Willis, MD

Senior Fellow
Contact:
He, Him, His
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Pasty Hampton

Patsy Hampton

Senior Associate and Director, EC-LINC
Contact:
She, Her, Hers
patsy.hampton@cssp.org
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