Transforming the Promise of Pediatric Care

“Going to the pediatrician's office upgraded once my HealthySteps Specialist started working there.”

Karma Campbell, Parent

Bernadette, an early childhood development expert, flips through a stack of warm papers she just picked up from the office printer. There are urgent requests for basic support and parenting questions filled with worry. Her stack has been getting larger as more and more families are anxious and in need.

In her work, Bernadette provides families with guidance and positive parenting support. But to be optimally set up for on-track child development and healthy early relationships, families must first have their basic needs met.

Bernadette adeptly navigates the tangled web of community providers, nonprofits and care networks to secure whatever her families need.

Whether it’s food, diapers or an appointment with an early intervention specialist that accepts Medicaid, her team makes sure that “no baby is left behind.”

HealthySteps transforms the promise of pediatric primary care by integrating highly trained early childhood development specialists into the primary care team. Together with pediatricians, they work with families to foster healthy child development and lifelong well-being through regular screening, intervention, and care coordination and referrals. HealthySteps also advances equity in health outcomes for children of color or those living in families with low incomes.

In 2022, HealthySteps sustained growth for the fifth consecutive year in the number of sites and children reached nationwide, marking continued progress toward the program’s goal of reaching more than 1 million children annually by 2032. Work towards that goal received a significant boost last year from a historic investment from Blue Meridian Partners that will allow the program to double in size nationwide by 2027. Advancements in state and federal policy and funding will also support growth, including the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Transforming Pediatrics for Early Childhood (TPEC) program, which will help expand HealthySteps in Massachusetts and New Jersey in the next four years.

Healthy Steps

By the Numbers

Children reached in 2022
Healthysteps Specialists