American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Osteopathic Physicians Partner with Erikson Institute on Early Childhood Development Initiative

All It Takes is H.E.A.R.T (Hug, Engage, Ask, Read, Talk) Campaign Emphasizes Education for Physicians, Communication with Families 

CHICAGO—October 21, 2015—Understanding that parents and physicians play a vital role in the healthy development of children, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Erikson Institute announced a partnership to help kids reach their greatest potential. The project, created to align with the White House early childhood learning initiative, was presented at OMED 15, the AOA’s annual medical education conference. 

All It Takes is H.E.A.R.T. (Hug, Engage, Ask, Read, Talk) is designed to guide parents as they support early learning and development for their children. The bottom line message: active interaction between children and their parents is critically important to stimulating healthy brain development from infancy through adolescence.

“As children grow, they experience the world through the relationships they have with others, especially their parents,” said Geoffrey A. Nagle, president and chief executive officer of the Erikson Institute. “Parents need to know that the simple but meaningful things that they can do with their children— the human interaction that comes with reading, talking and playing— all have a strong impact and produce positive lifelong results.”

Nagle added that the partnership leverages the trusted relationship between physicians and parents to reinforce the critical importance of early childhood experiences. “Because physicians talk regularly with parents about their child’s development, they have an unmatched opportunity to point out the profound benefits everyday interactions have on children,” he added.

The animated video developed to help parents understand the importance of H.E.A.R.T is available on the Erikson Institute website.

As part of the project, Erikson and the AOA are partnering to develop an online curriculum for osteopathic physicians (DOs) who specialize in family practice, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. DOs and osteopathic medical students who complete three training modules—Child Social and Emotional Development, Risk and Protective Factors and Culture and Family Communication—will be eligible to receive a certificate in early childhood development from Erikson Institute.

“As osteopathic physicians, we counsel parents at every point in their child’s development and help them understand what their kids need to thrive. These modules break down the current research in ways that go beyond what we learned in medical school to help clinicians identify problems early, develop an action plan and find solutions for parents and children,” said Scott S. Cyrus, DO, a pediatrician from Tulsa who introduced the curriculum to physicians attending OMED 15 Sunday in Orlando.

The learning modules and certificate program will be available for osteopathic medical students and DOs in early 2016.

About OMED 15

OMED 15 is the American Osteopathic Association’s five-day medical education event offering clinical and research updates in 15 specialties, with an emphasis on osteopathic principles and practices.

The osteopathic philosophy of medicine takes a whole person approach to prevention, diagnosis and treatment, giving its practitioners a distinct model for clinical problem solving and patient education.  OMED welcomes all health care professionals-- including MDs, nurse practitioners and physician assistants—interested in osteopathic medicine’s collaborative approach to increasingly complex medical issues.

About the AOA

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 122,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities.

To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic approach to medicine, visit www.DoctorsThatDO.org.

About Erikson Institute

Erikson Institute, located in Chicago, has a rich history spanning nearly 50 years of informing and influencing ‘what we know’ about early child development. As the nation’s premier graduate school in child development, Erikson focuses on preparing the next generation of leaders in the child development and social work fields, sharing new knowledge through applied faculty research, and serving children and families through direct service programs and advocacy to improve the lives of all children.

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Media Contact:

Sheridan Chaney
American Osteopathic Association
schaney@osteopathic.org; 312-202-8043

Bonita Brodt
Erikson Institute
BBrodt@Erikson.edu; 312-893-7161

 

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