Innovative Pediatric Program HealthySteps to Double in Size Following Historic Investment
ZERO TO THREE to drive primary care expansion to reach more than 700,000 young children
WASHINGTON, Apr. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Hundreds of thousands of infants and young children experiencing disparate stressors will have access to improved primary care through a new investment in one of the nation’s most innovative pediatric programs. HealthySteps, a program from leading early childhood nonprofit organization ZERO TO THREE, today announced a $46.5 million investment by Blue Meridian Partners that will see the program double in size nationwide by 2027. The announcement follows a previous $39 million investment in the program by Blue Meridian Partners.
“This is a monumental investment in a proven program that is transforming the pediatric setting to improve the lives of infants, toddlers and their families,” said Matthew Melmed, Executive Director of ZERO TO THREE. “Our HealthySteps specialists meet babies and toddlers where they are and provide comprehensive, comprehensive services to meet everything families need. In addition, we know that this program has had a huge impact in areas of persistent inequality for families of color and those with disabilities. low-income earners. I’m proud to know that we will now be able to expand this important effort across the country, reaching hundreds of thousands of young children and their families.”
The HealthySteps program integrates early childhood development experts (HealthySteps specialists) in family medicine and family medicine to ensure that the young children in their care reach key early developmental and social-emotional milestones. This investment will more than double the reach of HealthySteps from more than 350,000 children ages 0-3 to approximately 715,000 per year. The program’s goal is to support at least 1 million young children and their families each year by 2032, with a focus on children helped by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as children without insurance.
With today’s announcement, the HealthySteps network can continue to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, which has sparked a mental health crisis of children of epic proportions. This is a great opportunity to expand access to critical services, including comprehensive screening, intervention and referral of children and families, with an explicit focus on the millions of infants and toddlers helped by Medicaid and CHIP, who are disproportionately colored children. .
“As the pandemic continues, the services of the extraordinary HealthySteps network are more important than ever,” added Rahil D. Briggs, PsyD, National Director of HealthySteps. “Families with young children face unprecedented challenges and a web of often impossible decisions. But we know that children and caregivers supported by HealthySteps receive more screenings for their development and family needs, that children go to their source and in a higher Vaccinating at a rapid pace, and better supporting families so they can get their kids off to a successful start.Doubling the reach of the HealthySteps program over the next five years will bring great results to babies and their families, and we’re Blue Meridian Partners very grateful for their continued investment in this important work.”
HealthySteps, launched in 1995, has seen recent annual growth of 15 percent, largely due to high demand for the multi-generational services offered by the program. A HealthySteps specialist joins the team to promote nurturing parenting, improving the healthy development and well-being of babies and toddlers. This evidence-based program has been adopted and supported by major and influential health systems across the country, and has continued to expand even during COVID-19.
Currently, HealthySteps operates in more than 200 locations in 26 states and Washington, DC. Over the past five years, HealthySteps, in partnership with local partners, has created sustainable growth strategies in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York and South Carolina. Continued growth is expected to come from increased federal visibility, including a $5 million first-of-its-kind investment approved by Congress in March 2022 to support the placement of early childhood development professionals in pediatric practices serving large numbers of children with Medicaid and CHIP, and who are uninsured.
A focus on early childhood has implications not only for the health of children and families, but also for society as a whole:
Studies suggest that every $1 invested in early childhood programs has a social return on investment ranging from $7 to $18. Long-term benefits of investing in early childhood include increased income, lower health care costs, and even a lower involvement in the criminal justice system. HealthySteps generates significant savings for health care payers by improving their children’s attendance and vaccination coverage, and by promoting access to early dental care. Caregiver experiences have also improved — especially important when so many leave the workforce altogether — as doctors say the team-based approach to care improves their ability to effectively meet the needs of children and families they serve. The result is greater caregiver satisfaction, less burnout and less staff turnover among children.
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure that all infants and toddlers benefit from the family and community bonds that are essential to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has fostered the proven power of relationship building by turning early childhood science into useful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policy makers. For more information and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/zerotothree or follow @zerotothree on Twitter. For more information about HealthySteps, visit healthysteps.org and follow @HealthyStepsZTT on Twitter.
About Blue Meridian Partners
Blue Meridian Partners is a pioneering philanthropic model for finding and funding scalable solutions to problems that limit the economic and social mobility of American youth and families in poverty. We provide transformative capital combined with capacity building support and strategic advice, empowering visionary leaders to dream bigger and vastly expand their impact, influence and reach.
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