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Funded Projects

Training Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians: The MCHB/PENN Partnership

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Training Program

Project Director(s):

Nathan Blum, MD
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
2716 South Street
Philadelphia, PA  19146
Phone: 267-426-0122

Goals and Objectives:

Developmental disabilities including autism and behavioral health (DDiA/BH) concerns are the most prevalent chronic conditions limiting children's functioning. There is a national shortage of health care providers trained to screen for, diagnose or rule out, and provide evidence-based treatments for these conditions. We aim to improve the developmental and behavioral health of children and families; improve access to developmental-behavioral pediatric (DBP) care for children with DDiA/BH concerns and underserved populations; and train future leaders in DBP. Proposed Services: The principal goal of this project is to improve the health status of children, youth, and families by training the next generation of leaders in DBP. We disseminate essential DBP knowledge and skills through training individuals of varying educational levels from medical students to pediatric practitioners and through collaborating with, and providing technical assistance to, government programs and community-based agencies that provide services for children with DDiA/BH. We focus on training long-term trainees (LTTs) including DBP fellows, advanced practice providers, and primary care clinicians for leadership roles in improving DBP care. Specifically, we recruit diverse LTTs with leadership potential; provide LTTs with comprehensive knowledge of relevant psychosocial and biological sciences; teach them to integrate interdisciplinary evaluations and services in developing patient and family-centered comprehensive care plans that are culturally and linguistically responsive; and provide them with the leadership, scholarship, and public health expertise that will allow them to discover new knowledge, and develop and evaluate new programs that will improve systems of care for child with DDiA/BH and their families. We also provide training and/or continuing education to medical students, pediatrics residents, pediatric practitioners and other professionals. Training is provided through: 1) an extensive interdisciplinary didactic curriculum; 2) mentored DBP and interdisciplinary clinical training in the provision of family-centered and culturally responsive care across venues; 3) structured teaching experiences; 4) mentored research and/or quality improvement training; and 5) consultation to Title V funded programs and community agencies. Family members of individuals with DDiA/BH concerns and self-advocates participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of our training program. We evaluate our program through: self-assessment by trainees, a log documenting breadth and depth of clinical experiences, and direct observation of trainee performance. Fellows complete a Core Competency and an Autism Competency Measure before and after training. Other indices include ratings of faculty performance by trainees, presentation of abstracts, manuscripts, the development and dissemination of educational resources, and tracking of career paths of trainees. Population Groups Served: We provide care to children, youth, and young adults with DDiA/BH concerns and other DBP conditions in diverse venues including outpatient subspecialty settings, primary care, inpatient hospital settings, and community-based programs in urban, suburban, and rural environments both in-person and using telehealth. We train LTTs, pediatric residents, and medical students and provide continuing education for physicians and other professionals regionally, nationally, and internationally. We also provide education for families, community-based professionals and provide consultation or technical assistance to community-based organizations providing care to children and families and national professional organizations.