Anita Berry received her Masters Degree in Advance Practice Nursing from DePaul University a certificate in Infant Mental Health from Erikson Institute, a certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from RUSH University, and has a Certification in Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. She is the director of the Healthy Steps Program at Advocate Children’s Hospital, the largest network provider of pediatric services in Illinois and among the top 10 in the nation. She has spoken at numerous national conferences and published articles in several journals.


A project called Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care, with the goal of increasing the financing and delivery of preventive developmental services for children birth to age 3 years in the state of Illinois, provided training and technical assistance to primary care providers throughout the state of Illinois. Primary care providers have opportunities to screen and observe infants and toddlers and their caregivers more than any other professional, because they see them up to 13 times in the first 3 years of life for well-child visits. The project used a 1-hour, on-site training for primary care providers and their entire office staff as the method of increasing knowledge. Training focused on intent to change practice and implement validated routine early childhood developmental screening, and early referrals to Early Intervention or other community resources. Although many primary care providers routinely use only developmental surveillance in their practices, clinical practice guidelines recommend routine use of standardized developmental screening, using validated developmental screening tools. This presentation will share lessons learned and recommendations based on clinical practice guidelines and experiences of the team members during implementation of the EDOPC project and others. Primary care providers are critical to this process because children with developmental disorders have the best long-term outcomes and opportunities for improved family functioning with early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. J Pediatr Health Care. (2014) -,

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