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Building a Bridge from Birth to School:
A Presentation by Dr. Neal Halfon

Dr. Neal Halfon, a prominent pediatrician who directs the Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities at UCLA, discussed ways to improve early childhood development at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on August 8, 2006. His visit was sponsored by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Download a PDF of his PowerPoint presentation.

Dr Neal HalfonAbout Dr. Halfon

Neal Halfon, MD, MPH, is the Director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, and also directs the Child and Family Health Program in the UCLA School of Public Health, and the federally funded Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s National Center for Infancy and Early Childhood Health Policy Research. Dr. Halfon is a Professor of Pediatrics in the UCLA School of Medicine and Professor of Community Health Sciences in the UCLA School of Public Health, and is Professor of Policy Studies in the School of Public Policy and Social Research and is a also consultant in the Health Program at RAND.

Dr Halfon was appointed to the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine in 2001. He has also served on numerous expert panels and advisory committees including the 1999 Institute of Medicine committee commissioned by Surgeon General Satcher to propose the leading health indicators to measure the countries progress on our National Healthy Peoples agenda. He currently serves on a congressionally mandated Committee of the Institute of Medicine to evaluate how children’s health should be measured in the US.

Dr. Halfon’s primary research interests include the provision of developmental service to young children, access to care for low-income children, and delivery of health services to children with special health care needs — with a particular interest in abused and neglected children who are in the foster care system. His recent work attempts to define a developmentally-focused model of health production across the life course, and to understand the implications of such an approach for the delivery and financing of health care. He is currently co-chair of the Health Services Working Group for the planned National Children’s Study, an effort being led by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He has published the results of research on immunizations for inner-city children, health care needs to children in foster care, trends in chronic illnesses for children, delivery of health care services for children with asthma, and investigations of new models of health service delivery for high-risk children. Dr. Halfon recently co-authored and co-edited Child Rearing in America: Challenges Facing Parents with Young Children with Kathryn Taaffe McLearn and Mark A. Shuster. In this volume Dr. Halfon and a team of experts analyze findings from recent nationwide surveys, offering new insights into parenting beliefs and practices that can help to bring about more family-responsive and holistic child health and developmental services. Dr. Halfon also led the team that developed and implemented the 2000 National Survey of Early Childhood Health, and supervised the analysis of that survey, and the resulting special supplement to the journal Pediatrics which will be published in the fall of 2003.

Dr. Halfon received an MD from the University of California, Davis, and a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his pediatric residency at UC San Diego and UC San Francisco. Dr. Halfon was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at both UC San Francisco and Stanford.

About the Center

The UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities is a multi-disciplinary program of the David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and the UCLA School of Public Health, with faculty participation from the UCLA School of Public Policy & Social Research, School of Law, and the College of Letters and Sciences. The Center's mission is to improve society's ability to provide children with the best opportunities for health and well-being, and the chance to assume productive roles within families and communities.

By uniting a broad array of specialists - from pediatrics, public health, preventive medicine, education, mental health, economics, communications, law, and public policy - with families, community groups, providers and businesses, the Center aims to:

  • Improve the health of children, families, and communities by developing innovative and responsive service programs;
  • Increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and distribution of health and social services; and
  • Assist communities in transforming themselves into healthier environments for their children.

If you have any questions or need more information, please email us at chcfc@ucla.edu or contact the Center at:

UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities
1100 Glendon Avenue, Suite 850
Los Angeles, California 90024-6946
Tel: (310) 794-2583
Fax: (310) 794-2728

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