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Recap: North Carolina Summit on Early Child Health and Well-Being

Saturday, June 8, 2019
Mandy Cohen

The North Carolina Summit on Early Child Health and Well-Being was held on Friday, June 7, 2019 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Trent Semans Center, Great Hall. Attendees included representatives from NC Department of Health and Human Services, Healthy Durham 20/20, Durham County government, Duke University, UNC, and NC State. The summit was sponsored by the Duke Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative, the Duke Department of Pediatrics, and a grant from the School of Medicine for Interdisciplinary Colloquia, and was organized in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services. 

The goal of the North Carolina Summit for Early Child Health and Well-Being was to bring together child health researchers and state policy leaders to build partnerships and identify analytic priorities that can inform policies that impact child health and well-being, and to design a data-driven road map for improving child health in NC. Featured speakers included Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Patrick Conway, President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.

The summit focused on three goals of the North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan, which provides a framework for galvanizing coordinated action across public and private stakeholders throughout North Carolina and centers around making measurable changes in early childhood outcomes.

The three goals were:

  • Reducing disparities in infant mortality
    (Goal 1 of the Early Childhood Action Plan)
  • Developing measures and benchmarks for social and emotional development
    (Goal 5 of the Early Childhood Action Plan)
  • Developing approaches to measuring and providing access to healthy food for all children and their families
    (Goal 3 of the Early Childhood Action Plan)

Short talks were provided on each of these areas from experts at Duke and NC State, and Rebecca Planchard, the Senior Early Childhood Policy Advisor at the NC Department of Health and Human Services, provided an overview of the development of the NC Early Childhood Action Plan. The summit also included a break-out discussion section on each of these topics that brought together experts from across academic centers, NC DHHS, and other stakeholder groups to identify priority areas for research and new partnerships that will help inform policies to improve child health and well-being in NC.

Follow the Twitter feed #NCChildHealthSummit.

Summit Details

Summit Goal

Identify a roadmap of analytic priorities in North Carolina for early childhood health and well-being, starting with maternal health and with a focus on infant mortality.  The roadmap will be developed by bringing together thought leaders and stakeholders from academia, state government, and local entities.

Summit Logistics

  • Location: Duke University, Trent Semans Great Hall
  • Date: Friday, June 7, 2019 9am-1:30pm; Leadership meeting to identify next steps from 1:30 to 2:30
  • Attendees: ~75 attendees from stakeholder groups listed below

Summit Structure

Time

Session

Goals

9:00-9:15

Welcome

Charlene Wong and Ann Reed

9:15-9:45am

Keynote

Mandy Cohen – Context setting for summit with priority areas

9:45-10:15

Spark talks

3-4 minute talks on each topic area to provide context for the break-out sessions

  • Rebecca Planchard (DHHS): Describe data and measures for the relevant sections of the ECAP (12 minutes)
  • Keisha Bentley-Edwards (Duke): Disparities in infant mortality (4 minutes)
  • Debra Best (Duke): Social & Emotional Development (4 minutes)
  • Lindsey Haynes-Maslow (NC State): Food insecurity in early childhood (4 minutes)

10:15-10:30

Organizational break

Divide into break-out sessions

10:30-11:30

Break-out sessions

  • Interventions and policy approaches to reducing disparities in infant mortality
  • Methods and approaches to measuring social and emotional development in early childhood
  • Methods and approaches to measuring food insecurity in early childhood

Identify analytic priorities in focus areas (Criteria: Potential for impact, Timeliness, Research feasibility). Each session will have a scribe who will be responsible for recording the discussion and reporting out

11:30-12:30

Buffet Lunch provided

Attendees will have the opportunity to eat during the reporting session.

12:00-12:50

Plenary talk

Patrick Conway, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

 

12:50-1:00

Q&A

Dr. Conway and other speakers will be available to take questions.

12:50-1:25

Reporting Session

Each group scribe will be responsible for creating a single PowerPoint slide detailing their group’s identified analytic priorities.

1:25-1:30pm

Summit Closure

Sallie Permar and Charlene Wong will close the session.

1:30-2:30

Leadership meeting

Identification of next steps and action items breakout leaders, scribes, and other leadership will attend.

 

Which interventions and policy approaches can reduce disparities in infant mortality in North Carolina?
Belinda Pettiford (DHHS), Bev Gray (Duke), Debra Best (Duke)

  • What are the potential policy approaches to reducing infant mortality?
  • Are there health system-based interventions to reduce infant mortality?
  • What interventions have previously been successful in reducing infant mortality?

How do we measure social and emotional development in early childhood at the population level?
Beth Gifford (Duke), Becki Planchard (DHHS), Nicole Heilbron (Duke)

  • Which metrics are currently being used to collect data on social and emotional development?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of current approaches to measuring social and emotional development?
  • Which types of data are we missing and how can we collect them?
  • What does existing research tell us about interventions and policy approaches to promoting social and emotional development?

How do we measure food insecurity in early childhood?
Erika Ferguson (DHHS), Carolyn Barnes (Duke), Eliana Perrin (Duke)

  • Which metrics are currently being used to collect data on food insecurity?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of current approaches to measuring food insecurity?
  • Which types of data are we missing and how can we collect them?
  • What does existing research tell us about interventions and policy approaches to reducing food insecurity in early childhood?