AUCD Launches Children's Mental Health Champions

June 10, 2020

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) expands its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with the launch of a new pilot program, Children's Mental Health Champions, made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six Champions were selected, representing California, Colorado, Kentucky, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington D.C., to serve as liaisons to the CDC's Children's Mental Health program.

These Champions act as community change agents to increase positive parenting practices, kicking off a one-year term of service starting in June 2020. Champions provide timely support for children and their families as COVID-19 has impacted school closures, suspended home visiting services, made pediatric visits virtual, and caused additional stress and financial insecurity. Champions will develop state-specific work plans to implement effective strategies for mental health promotion, prevention supports, and the creation of networks (e.g., school, healthcare, and community) to promote better connections between these systems.







USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Micah Orliss


JFK Partners, University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children's Hospital Colorado

Judy Reaven


Human Development Institute (HDI), University of Kentucky, UCEDD

Mary Howard

New Mexico

University of New Mexico Center for Development & Disability, UCEDD

Julia Oppenheimer


Partnership for People with Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University

Bonnie Grifa

Washington, DC

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Lauren Rabinovitz