Full name and title
Colleen Bernard, Project Specialist
Years with NICHQ:
How has your background/experiences led you to join a national children’s health organization?
I joined NICHQ after completing my undergraduate degree in Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire (go Wildcats!) At school, I became interested in maternal and child health and health equity. I found NICHQ to be a perfect fit for my background and passions. I now work on projects that aim to reduce disparities in early childhood development (ECHE Landscape) and safe infant sleep and breastfeeding (NAPPSS-IIN).
Favorite memory from a NICHQ project:
My favorite memory from a NICHQ project was from our NAPPSS-IIN Cohort C Expert Planning Meeting. We convened a group of diverse safe infant sleep and breastfeeding experts from across the nation to discuss ways we could involve community partners in the next phase of our project. This was one of the most animated meetings I have ever been to! The energy in the room was palpable. The key takeaway from this gathering was that authentic community partnerships at all levels—from grassroots to national—are needed to make an impact. I was so inspired by the fierce advocacy of this group. Most meeting attendees had decades of experience working with communities in the field, and it was great collaborating with them to work toward eliminating racial disparities in safe sleep and breastfeeding. This meeting, though spirited, engendered a great sense of unity and purpose.
Biggest lesson-learned when working on a quality improvement (QI) project:
Funniest thing that ever happened on a NICHQ project:
What are you most proud of from your time with NICHQ?
What are your goals for NICHQ’s future?
Rare Diseases Deserve Our Attention
Between 25 and 30 million Americans, many of them children, are living with a rare disease. The complex challenges facing these children and families deserve attention and demand innovative responses. Here, NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, shares his experiences, elaborates on successful strategies, and describes his goals for the future.
North Carolina’s Strategy to Address Social Determinants of Health
North Carolina is developing a system that connects individuals with resources to address social, economic and environmental barriers to their health—such as housing, food insecurity, and transportation. By putting funding and policy efforts into addressing social determinants of health, North Carolina is building a system that can improve health outcomes for children and families across the state.
Breastfeeding in 2019: Safe Sleep, Bias, Gender Equitable Norms, and Paid Leave
In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we’ve taken time with NICHQ Faculty Expert, Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, an internationally and nationally recognized expert on breastfeeding nutrition, education and policy, to recognize successes and learn about opportunities for improvement. Her frank description of bias and her passion for promoting gender-equitable social norms have inspired us to continue pursuing sustainable improvements.
Successful Strategies Hospitals Can Use to Support Safe Sleep
Hospitals on a national initiative to improve safe sleep came together to share successes and lessons-learned. Here, find their highest-rated strategies and change ideas, all of which reflect early successes in their work. Hospitals seeking to improve safe sleep education can refer to this list as a place to start and guide for gaining quick wins.
Improving Transitions in Care Saves Lives
Advancements in care have helped more children with rare diseases reach adulthood, but health systems and providers have struggled to help children transition to adult care, resulting in high rates of complications and mortality for young adults. These strategies for helping young adults with sickle cell disease transition to adult care can save lives.
“The Act of Making a Referral is Not Enough”
Universal developmental screenings can help identify children at risk for developmental delays and connect them with needed supports. An effective screening process relies on successful referrals though—if there is no follow-up with the referred child, families can never access the supports the child may need, and that child may ultimately fall through the cracks. Here, Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health provides five steps to build a referral process that works.