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May 20, 2016

Creating Gains, Relieving Pains, and Providing Support: The Value of Help Me Grow Affiliation & The National Forum

Guest Post by Sara Sibley, BS
Program Manager 


For me, Spring not only signals the end of cold winters and imminent warm weather. Spring is also National Forum season!

At the Help Me Grow (HMG) National Center, Forum season is long and culminates in a three-day event, this year running from May 23-25 in Greenville, SC. Though the effort is intense, the staff buzzes with e   Read More >>

National Forum 2016 Materials

Click here for PowerPoint slides, handouts, agendas, speaker bios, and much much more from the 7th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum.


7th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum Starts May 23

Full slate of sessions, panels, and more planned to support early childhood systems building

On May 23, 2016, the 7th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum will commence in Greenville, South Carolina, a site selected for the outstanding work of its Help Me Grow (HMG) affiliate on behalf children and families.





More than 200 attendees from nearly 30 states will gather at the three-day Forum to network, share information, and learn new tools, strategies, and opportunities for advancing developmental promotion, early detection of vulnerable children, and linkage to services.

The offerings at the 2016 Forum are diverse and bountiful, including 21 breakout sessions on such topics as:

  • universal developmental screening 
  • training tools for early care and healthcare professionals
  • predictors of environmental stress and risk for social emotional and developmental delay
  • building successful resource inventories
  • Mid-level Developmental Assessment (MLDA)
  • serving children in foster care
  • HMG and early childhood integrated data systems
  • HMG and Reach Out & Read partnerships

Forum participants will also enjoy panel presentations on funding, HMG system fidelity, and the diffusion of MLDA and care coordination collaborative innovations. Paul Dworkin, MD, the founding director of the Help Me Grow National Center and the executive vice president for community child health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, will deliver the welcoming address.

The Forum is extremely proud to present the keynote address by Renee Boynton Jarrett, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine and founding director of the Vital Village Community Engagement Network. Dr. Jarrett will speak on “Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing: Innovative Strategies to Align and Integrate Early Childhood Systems.” See Dr. Jarrett’s bio here.

“We are excited to highlight the work of the Help Me Grow National Center and our South Carolina affiliate, which serves as a model for others to follow,” said Kimberly Martini-Carvell, HMG National Center Executive Director.

HMG South Carolina is run by the state’s largest health system. Because of this unique access to primary care providers, the affiliate has sharply expanded the number of direct physician referrals to the program, as well as the number of children and families served by the program.

"Help Me Grow works to support comprehensive early childhood system building. Its 25 affiliates work to improve access to existing resources for children, birth through age 8, who are at risk for developmental or behavioral problems but too often elude early detection.

Dr. Dworkin founded HMG in Hartford in 1997. The system is now available across the country through the expanding affiliate network overseen by the Help Me Grow National Center. Contact the National Center to learn more about the National Forum.


See Dr. Dworkin's presentation at the CDC's Public Health Grand Rounds on
Addressing Health Disparities in Early Childhood, given March 15, 2016.


Success Story: Help Me Grow Michigan and the ASQ

Brookes Publishing Co., publisher of the developmental screening tool known as the Ages & Stages Questionnaire, recently released an article examining Help Me Grow Southeast Michigan's extremely successful push to ensure universal screening for all young children in Southeast Michigan through promotion, prevention, and early identification.

"To date," the article states, "this highly successful project has tallied almost 92,697 completed ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE online screenings over the six counties in the region. This makes HMG SE Michigan one of the largest ASQ Online screeners in the nation!"

HMG SE Michigan ASQ

The article continues, "One of the major objectives of the Help Me Grow system is to promote regular developmental screening with tools like ASQ. Screening is an important step toward connecting young children with the services they need to thrive." Excellent work, HMG SE Michigan!



HMG Policy Briefs

Click here for policy briefs on

 De-medicalizing childhood developmental and behavioral concerns 

How HMG promotes protective factors

HMG & Medicaid.