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Steven Merahn, MD
I am passionate about:
helping children have the best developmental experience possible and having the opportunity to succeed in the world on their own terms.
A little known fact about me is:
I have an online art portfolio
Show my name on the attendees list for events I am attending:
"No ideas but in things"
I am a physician by training, an artist by inclination, an educator by temperament and a parent by desire. I tend to work at the boundaries between diverse, and not always apparently related, disciplines, and try to live my life by the principles of personal integrity, relentless intellectual vigor, generousity, forgiveness, courage, commitment and play. My career has toggled between entrepreneurialism and executive leadership in global multinational corporations, providing me a deep tool kit to create and affect tangible and productive change in knowledge, attitudes and behavior.
Jim -- I am a pediatrician and former Medical Director for the NYC Dept of Health Bureau of Early Childhood Education; I've presented at NAEYC and state-based AEYC's and was the "Pediatrician in Residence" at the Bank Street College of Education... Two quick comments:
1. There are some new developments in care delivery redesign and payment reform that may help you with the business model for this important work and 'bridging' between the disciplines of early childhood education and pediatrics. Pediatric practices that have become "Patient Centered Medical Homes" are investing in behavioral and developmental resources to help achieve their quality metrics; similarly, Medicaid managed care organizations also struggle with their pediatric populations and your program is an interesting alternative to nurse case managers. 2. The bridges and role-based relationships between Pediatrics and Early Childhood Education are not well settled -- the pediatricians have a Committee on Early Childhood which includes representatives from NAEYC, but the connection has not trickled down to the local communities (similarly the relationship between the Developmental Scientists [cf. Society for Research in Child Developments] and pediatricians -- there are academic relationships for research, but little progress in translating that research into the needs of non-academic practitioners). Its even hard to get a pediatrician accept a referral for assessment behavioral or developmental concerns; the ECE community is largely thought of as 'teachers' and do not have much 'shared of mind' as a developmental resource among the pediatricians Your program might be a great way to support 'translational program design' and bridge building with these communities of practice that actually share the same children!
Thanks for your thoughts Jim. The scope of 'Developmental Responsibility' will be determined by the work of the collaborative community of participants in the Standards, Principles and Practices (SP&P) Initiative. The design of the collaborative will encourage the choice of a limited set of initial, evidence-based standards around which the diverse stakeholders can find mutual agreement - - and the process needs to proceed without preconceived notions or categorical limits on what is considered.
While I do have an "I-wish" for the initial standards -- largely around the influence of external communications and modeling on social/emotional/moral development, the SP&P process will support an initial broad view on development, and then find that limited set of tangible and usable standards that can achieve the goal of broad adoption and universal acceptance.
With regard to the corporate sector, we will be inviting companies, and trade associations representing market sectors, to participate in the Standards Development process. In addition there are a number of companies who have already declared themselves sensitive to the needs of children and families, and they will be invited to participate in an Advisory capacity, and serve as liaison to companies who may not have considered Developmental Responsibility as being strategically relevant to their corporate mission or goals. However, you are also correct that a broad public policy movement will be critical to socializing the idea of Developmental Responsibility and establishing expectations for the concept of such standards across business and civil society.