With an aim to ensure the healthy development of its youngest patients, Neighborhood Health Center is thrilled to welcome patients to the HealthySteps program which is launching at Neighborhood’s Blasdell location. HealthySteps is an evidence-based, team-based pediatric primary care program that promotes the health, well-being and school readiness of babies and toddlers, with an emphasis on families living in low-income communities. Neighborhood is the first health center in Western New York to implement this program.
“Babies’ brains grow faster from ages 0-3 than any point in life and pediatricians are a trusted source of information for parents during these critical years,” says Joanne Haefner, FNP, President and CEO of Neighborhood Health Center. “Pediatric providers though have a long list of services to cover during a well-child visit. That’s where HealthySteps comes in. This program offers tailored support for concerns that physicians often lack time to address, such as: behavior, sleep, feeding, attachment, parental depression, social determinants of health, and adapting to life with a baby or toddler.”
HealthySteps uses a team-based approach that integrates a HealthySteps specialist, who is a child development expert, into the health care team. All children ages 0-3 and their families receive a universal screening to determine what additional supports a family might need, such as care coordination and on-site intervention, or more frequent follow ups as needed.
Neighborhood is able to launch the program at its Blasdell location at 4233 Lake Avenue thanks to a grant from the Independent Health Foundation. This three-year grant has funded training to integrate HealthySteps into the clinical practice at Blasdell, and supports the work of the Healthy Steps Specialist, Mekenna Walter, LMSW.
HealthySteps is a program of ZERO TO THREE, the nation’s leading nonprofit working to ensure all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. HealthySteps practices serve as trusted and valuable partners as families foster their children’s healthy development. Together, the national network of HealthySteps sites aims to reach more than one million young children annually by 2032. Visit healthysteps.org or zerotothree.org to learn more.