The medical center’s 2015 strategic plan calls for the hospital to lead, advocate and collaborate to improve the health of local children. The key is ensuring that children start school healthy and ready to succeed. Scientific discoveries about the importance of the early years show the wisdom of investing in early childhood development to achieve lifelong returns.   

Reading is a key skill parents need to teach their children.The Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS) initiative seeks to improve early child development and health using a neighborhood-level approach that offers young families a true and transformed system of care that aligns the healthcare, early education, home visiting and other community agencies that touch their lives. 

The initial focus will be on Lower and East Price Hill − communities in which only 43 percent of kindergartners pass the statewide mark as “ready to read.”  Children in these communities frequently need expensive individualized education plans to address cognitive and speech problems, and suffer from chronic physical conditions, such as asthma.  It is especially important for these children to receive well-coordinated care across service providers. 

Under the leadership of Robert Kahn, MD, MPH, Peter Margolis, MD, PhD, and project director Chellie McLellan, the initiative will use improvement science methodology and frequent and transparent measurement to target physical health and language, cognitive, social and emotional development for all children 0-5 years of age.   

In 2012, the Price Hill Improvement Collaborative will continue to build partnerships with service providers, pediatricians and key community stakeholders to guide systemic change. We will coach and guide the change ideas that are most likely to improve developmental trajectories and will help shape a measurement framework to capture improvement. 

Our initial two prototypes focus on promoting the importance of universal early reading and on building a highly connected support system for the family of every newborn (about one a day) in these communities.