Penn State professor to moderate congressional briefing on healthy parenting

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Diana H. Fishbein, director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Center, C. Eugene Bennett Chair in Prevention Research, and professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State, will moderate the congressional briefing, “Supporting Healthy Parenting through Primary Care,” at 1 p.m. on April 19, at the Capitol Visitor’s Center in Washington, D.C.

The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC), of which Fishbein is also director, and the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health are co-sponsoring the briefing. Speakers and participants will also feature nationally recognized experts on pediatric health care and the prevention of behavioral health problems, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The briefing will address evidence-based parenting interventions proven effective in helping parents to prevent children’s disruptive, oppositional and defiant behaviors; anxiety and depressive symptoms; tobacco, alcohol and drug misuse; and aggression, delinquency and violence. 

“We will emphasize healthy families and the positives that can come from these interventions,” Fishbein said. “Legislation is needed to permit primary care providers to ‘prescribe’ parenting intervention practices for all patients. Our goal is for these practices to become more routinely available. If insurance companies do not cover this essential preventative care option, they will remain inaccessible for those who may need them most.”

Current policies discourage primary health care providers from providing parents with these tested and effective programs. The cost of not receiving these programs is high—behavioral health issues cost America $247 billion per year. 

The briefing will also summarize the effectiveness of family-focused preventive interventions, share the experiences of people who have benefitted, and explore the potential for integrating effective family-focused preventive interventions into primary health care to measurably improve population health.

Presenters will include J. David Hawkins, endowed professor of prevention, School of Social Work, University of Washington; Ellen C. Perrin, professor of developmental-behavioral pediatrics, Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center; Rahil Briggs, Montefiore Medical Center & Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Diane E. Bloomfield, medical director, Family Care Center Pediatric Teams, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, assistant professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Legislators will also be present, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Sen. Patty Murray, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and Rep. Grace Napolitano of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus.

Rebecca Mueller and Lidiana Baster will offer the perspectives from parents of affected individuals.

The NPSC is a nonprofit organization of scientists, educators, practitioners and clinicians, policy makers, foundation representatives and national affiliates whose members work to apply validated scientific findings to wide-scale effective implementation of practices and policies to improve the lives of children, adolescents, their families and communities.

Contacts: 
Last Updated March 31, 2016