Dr. Isakson Presents: Building Bridges for Early Childhood Success

Dr. Isakson presented “Building Bridges for Early Childhood Success” at Winthrop Hospital Pediatric Grand Rounds on March 7th. Dr. Isakson discussed how our contribution to developmental screening works and how doctors can connect to resources in the community. Nationally, only 30% of children with developmental delays are identified prior to school. Along with that, on Long Island, many of those children most developmentally vulnerable do not make it to referral or services; even of those evaluated by Early Intervention, only 50% are deemed eligible for services. Dr. Isakson discussed Docs for Tots’ previous partnership with the NuHealth system in Nassau County to improve developmental screening practices using quality improvement principles. Because of this project, 95% of all children under 3 years old have been screened, with over 1000 (& counting) screens administered. Over 100 children have been referred to El with a bump in children from communities being referred for services during the intervention period. To build the bridges needed to improve outcomes for children, Dr. Isakson stressed that physicians need to improve their screening practices, the community needs to be better informed about developmental milestones, and finally, care coordination around referrals need to be improved.

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Investing in quality early learning programs is the most efficient way to affect school and life success and to reduce social expenditures later.

James Heckman, economist, Nobel laureate