By Daniel Oppenheimer
Editor, Texas Health Journal
On November 5-6, 2018, a collaborative of state agencies, academic institutions, and philanthropic foundations hosted the Texas Pediatric Brain Health Summit, a first of its kind gathering dedicated to bringing the latest brain health science to bear on programs that promote community resilience and optimal development in Texas’ children.
The invitation-only summit was a collaboration between The Department of Family and Protective Services, The Department of State Health Services, The University of Texas System, The University of Health Science Center at Tyler, Episcopal Health Foundation, and St. David’s Foundation.
To aid in the work of the Summit, researchers at The University of Health Science Center at Tyler developed a series of posters that illustrated key facts about the pediatric brain and factors that influence its development. Participants were asked to annotate the posters (with sticky notes) with thoughts and suggestions on how the information might inform work in Texas.
The summit was the first official event of the pediatric brain health initiative, which is a multi-sector, multi-agency collaboration focused on the prenatal to three-year-old developmental window. In addition to work that deploys brain science to inform programs and services, the initiative will work towards educating community partners and the public about the importance of promoting early brain health as a necessary component of promoting the long-term health of Texans.