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Hausman and Howard to lead Kentucky’s Act Early Network

The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) has received a 2020 Act Early State and Territorial Team COVID-19 Response Initiative grant funded through an existing cooperative agreement between the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Christine Hausman, Kentucky’s Act Early Ambassador, and Mary Howard, Director of Child Care Aware of Kentucky, will lead this effort to ensure there is continued and enhanced access to relevant developmental monitoring tools, materials, and program information that will improve resiliency of families with young children during the COVID-19 response. This opportunity is expected to help boost and evaluate the integration of parent-engaged developmental monitoring using “Learn the Signs. Act Early” (LTSAE) in statewide programs serving families with young children (birth to age 5).  

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI’s Executive Director, says, “HDI has the team, the resources, and the broad partnerships necessary to carry out this critical initiative for Kentucky’s children and families.

Visit the LTSAE website to learn more.

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Mary Howard selected a Children’s Mental Health Champion

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) with support from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has selected Mary Howard, HDI Research and Development Associate for Early Care and Education, as a Children’s Mental Health Champion. Mary is one of six people selected for this opportunity to serve as a state liaison to the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health program. She will act as community champion change agent to increase awareness activities and improvement of positive parenting practices; develop and test strategies for building partnerships to promote identification, screening, referral, and intervention; and implement effective strategies for mental health promotion, prevention supports, and creation of networks (e.g., school, healthcare, and community) and promote better connections between these systems.

Mary serves as the Director of Child Care Aware of Kentucky and has a network of potential partners who serve children and their families across the Commonwealth.

Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI’s Executive Director, says “We’ve known Mary as a champion for early childhood for many years. This new role is so important in bridging mental health needs for our little-ist Kentuckians. Having an opportunity for dialogue at a national level will help strengthen families in the Commonwealth.”

In addition to Kentucky, individuals were selected to represent California, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington D.C. You can learn more about the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health Program at https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/index.html and AUCD at www.aucd.org.

Project Contact:  Mary.Howard@uky.edu