Brown DBP Team at SDBP 2019 (RI UCEDD/LEND)

November 25, 2019

Faculty and trainees from the department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) at Hasbro Children's Hospital attended the annual meeting of the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP) held in Washington DC from September 16th to 19th.

The meeting coincided with an extremely critical time in the US Senate where the Autism CARES Act was up for renewal. One of the key areas of focus for this meeting was advocacy, setting the stage for attendees to participate in discussions around public policies affecting maternal, child and family welfare. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the conference, professionals from various disciplines across the country participated in sessions that addressed matters affecting children's development.

Children with disabilities continue to face barriers to access quality health care and education. A vital component of the SDBP conference was sessions centered around decreasing health disparities, generating health equity and aligning with communities to provide meaningful, culturally and linguistic competent care. Another crucial area in the context of inclusivity was supporting training of a culturally diverse workforce of skilled providers and collaborating with professionals outside of one's own professional realm.

The following were among the highlights of the meeting. The key-note speaker was congressional award-winning speech and language pathologist, Michelle Garcia Winner from California who gave an invigorating presentation on working with children with social cognitive, speech and language disorders. Separately, Dr. William Barbaresi from Boston introduced the new SDBP Complex ADHD guidelines that are slated to be released in January 2020. Dr. Marilyn Augustyn from Boston organized a concurrent session titled ‘The Border is Here' talking about perceptive, culturally appropriate and compassionate care for immigrant as well as refugee children.

The meeting wasn't all work and no play! The SDBP social dinner is the informal annual re-union for past and present faculty and fellows of the Brown DBP program. The social dinner was a great opportunity to unwind after the conference concluded. Music was flowing as a live band performed several classic tunes and people took to the dance floor. The Brown DBP team spent time networking, catching up with old colleagues, dancing and posing for photographs!

On September 17, four of the present DBP fellows - Drs. Gianelloni, Klees, Savant and Bartos participated in the Capitol Hill visit and met with Senator Jack Reed's (D-RI) Healthcare Legislative assistant Ms. Jill Boland to voice support for the Autism CARES Act and discuss other sentinel matters affecting children and their families.