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The TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health is an affiliated center of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

Click here to view photos of the conference.

The science is clear, inequities in the language and learning environments of children age birth to three inhibit foundational brain development and disproportionately affect children living in poverty. These disparities grow exponentially through a child’s early years, negatively impacting her educational trajectory and life course. Most families interact with the healthcare system more than any other institution during their child’s formative years. Though researchers and practitioners have begun to explore the healthcare sector as an avenue to reach families during this time, its potential remains vastly underutilized.

Leveraging the Healthcare System to Impact Educational Disparities is an interdisciplinary conference that aims to elevate the role of the healthcare sector, highlight current approaches, and harness its capacity to intervene early and have a lasting impact on a child’s future health and well-being. We hope to be joined by intervention developers, pediatricians, practitioners, and researchers for a stimulating discussion on topics such as:

  • What are specific ways the healthcare sector can advance parental knowledge of child development and impact educational disparities?
  • What are some current programs that work through the healthcare sector and their impact?
  • How can we use the science of scaling to replicate, scale, and fund evidence-based programs?

Speakers included the following. The conference agenda can be found here.

  • Diane Alexander, PhD, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • Rahil Briggs, PsyD, National Director of HealthySteps a program of ZERO TO THREE
  • Donna Cohen Ross, Vice President, Center for the Study of Social Policy
  • Amanda Feinstein, MPA, Project Director for Brilliant Baby, Oakland Promise
  • Jocelyn A. Guyer, MPA, Managing Director, Manatt Health
  • James J. Heckman, PhD, The Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, University of Chicago
  • Perri Klass, MD, Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at NYU; National Medical Director of Reach Out and Read
  • Dayna Long, MD, Department of Community Health and Engagement at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
    Supplemental material: Oakland Promise Brilliant Baby
  • Alan Mendelsohn, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at New York University School of Medicine
  • Allison Metz, PhD, Director of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN), Senior Research Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Generous support for this conference was provided by Rohit and Harvanit Kumar.



Learn more about the TMW Center here.