Grant to support early language development initiative.
ATLANTA – The James M. Cox Foundation announced a $730,000 grant that will be used to pilot the Talk With Me Baby program at Grady Health System. Studies show that the fastest brain growth happens during the first three years of life, making it a critical time to introduce language development.
“One of the most important things we can do as a society is prepare children for success,” said Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy. “Experts now recognize that early language development in children is a health issue. It is vitally important for young children to develop the language skills they will need to be ready to read when they get to kindergarten. It’s exciting to think that Grady will be at the forefront of what could be a national delivery model of this important information through the healthcare system.”
Through the grant, Grady will leverage its many touch points with expectant and new parents to share video content with tips on building a child’s vocabulary. In addition, nurses will receive special training so they can educate caregivers on the importance of talking with their baby every day to prepare the children for future success. Parents will also be taught about important milestones to monitor a child’s language development progress and identify difficulties.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to ensure that children are given the tools they need from the youngest age to prepare them for school and for life,” said John M. Haupert, president and CEO of Grady Health System. “This generous grant from the James M. Cox Foundation has the potential to have a generational impact not only on the families touched by the Talk to Me Baby program but on our community as these children grow up to lead successful lives.”
Talk With Me Baby is a partnership of six lead organizations that are committed to ensuring that every newborn child in Georgia receives essential language nutrition and has the opportunity to reach their full potential. The lead partners are: the Georgia Department of Public Health and Department of Education, Emory University’s School of Nursing and Department of Pediatrics, the Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, and Get Georgia Reading – Georgia’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading.
As leaders in the field of health, education, and policy, these partners understand the impact that abundant “language nutrition” has on early brain development and how it sets the stage for success in school and the workplace, which in turn affects health and well-being.
About the Grady Health Foundation
The Grady Health Foundation is dedicated to supporting the Grady Health System achieve its vision of becoming the leading public academic healthcare system in the U.S. by funding and accelerating capital renovation, advanced medical technology and equipment, and clinical programs. For more information, visit www.gradyhealthfoundation.org.
About the James M. Cox Foundation
The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises’ founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio’s first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
The Foundation concentrates its community support in several areas, including: conservation and environment; early childhood education; empowering families and individuals for success; and health.
Grady Health System One of Six in Nation to Receive Merck Foundation Grant
Focus on timely access to patient-centered cancer care, Grady Health System is one of only six in the nation that will become part of the new Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care. The Merck Foundation has committed $15 million in funding over five years across the program sites, with the goal of increasing timely access to patient-centered cancer care for vulnerable and underserved populations in the United States.
“We are honored with this vote of confidence in Grady and look forward to working with the Merck Foundation and the other members of the Alliance to identify and implement new ways to deliver high quality care for the hundreds of cancer patients who seek treatment at our hospital every year,” said Renay Blumenthal, president of the Grady Heath Foundation.
Alliance members were selected based on criteria including the technical merit of proposed programs, organizational capabilities and experience, relationships with community partners and ability to promote sustainable improvements. The other institutions selected include The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), Northwestern University (Chicago), Ohio State University (Columbus) and The University of Arizona (Tucson). The National Program Office for the Alliance will be housed at the University of Michigan School of Nursing (Ann Arbor).
“With 1.7 million Americans newly diagnosed with cancer each year, there is a great need to improve the quality and delivery of patient-centered care to help address the significant challenges of those facing this diagnosis. These superb program sites and the National Program Office should accelerate identification and uptake of innovations that benefit patients, improve health communications and enhance the overall coordination of care,” said Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck, and chief executive officer, Merck Foundation, in the release announcing the new program.
For more information about the Merck Foundation, visit www.merckgiving.com.
For more information about the Grady Health Foundation, visit www.gradyhealthfoundation.org.
On Friday, November 18, new and expectant mothers at Grady enjoyed a baby shower hosted by one of Atlanta’s most successful entrepreneurs, Sara Blakely, founder and owner of Spanx and the Sara Blakely Foundation and New York Times bestselling author. The event also celebrated Ms. Blakely’s recently released book, The Belly Art Project, the proceeds of which support efforts to ensure safe and healthy births for mothers throughout the world.
“I am thrilled to celebrate motherhood with the launch of my newest labor of love, The Belly Art Project. Access to medical care is critical to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth for both mothers and babies. Grady fills that role for thousands of new and growing families every year,” said Ms. Blakely. “As an organization committed to empowering women, we are proud to add to the incredible support these mothers are receiving and help them celebrate this special time.”
Nearly 90 new and expectant mothers participated in the celebration during which Ms. Blakely shared from her own experience as a mother of four young children, which was also the inspiration for The Belly Art Project. Mothers received gifts including a combination baby stroller and car seat underwritten by a $100,000 donation from the Sara Blakely Foundation, which will sponsor two additional baby showers in 2017.
“We are grateful for the generous commitment made by the Sara Blakely Foundation to support new mothers here at Grady. Friday afternoon’s event was a wonderful celebration of all that motherhood can and should be. It was also an important reminder to the women attending that they are not alone,” added Renay Blumenthal, president of the Grady Health Foundation. “Whether a mother and baby are here because they needed the services of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or after experiencing a normal birth, we are committed to providing a safe, caring environment that gives them the best possible chance for a healthy start.”
Last year, over 3,000 babies were delivered at Grady, which houses the state’s only Obstetric Care Unit of its kind. Grady’s Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit receives patients from over 40 counties across north Georgia. The hospital also offers numerous programs that provide support and education for mothers and families during pregnancy.
The Bell Art Project was released in October 2016 and features over 100 photos of both celebrity and everyday mothers whose pregnant bellies have been transformed into whimsical “billboards of hope.” To learn more about the book visit www.bellyartproject.org.
To learn more about the Sara Blakely Foundation visit www.sarablakelyfoundation.com.