Office of the Provost and School of Medicine Dean Lloyd Minor have approved the creation of a new division in the Department of Pediatrics: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP). Heidi Feldman, MD, PhD, will serve as the founding Division Chief.
DBP became a recognized subspecialty of Pediatrics in 2000 and offered the first certification examination in 2002. The field evaluates and treats children at risk for or experiencing developmental delays and disorders. Distinctive features of the subspecialty include the centrality of family-centered care and shared decision-making, the high value of cultural competence, and the use of interprofessional teams for clinical care, research, and education. Treatments for developmental disorders include traditional methods, such as medication and therapy, and linkage to community-based services, such as education and social service.
Here at Stanford, DBP is a collaborative team of physicians from the Department of Pediatrics, psychologists, and nurses from Stanford Children’s Health. The core team works closely with speech/language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, dieticians, and social workers.
The division traces its history to 2006 when Dr. Feldman joined the faculty. Until that time, developmental evaluations were focused on follow-up of the high-risk infant. Therefore, it was appropriate to place the new program within the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine. Now, the division has 8.5 faculty and instructors. Clinical programs of DBP include High Risk Infant Follow-up, funded in part through California Children’s Services. The Young Childhood Program evaluates and manages children less than age 6 years, including children with autism. The Middle Childhood Program evaluates and manages children age 7 to 13 years.
DBP at Stanford has been highly successful in building its education and research portfolios. The fellowship program in DBP received all of the appropriate approvals from the University and ACGME in 2007 and began admitting fellows in 2008. Since 2008, the fellowship has received partial support from a competitive training grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of Health Resources and Services Administration of the Public Health Service. DBP provides a one-month required rotation for pediatric residents. This rotation has been rated as one of the top 5 within the residency program over the last 3 years. Faculty members have successfully obtained funding for research projects from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations. Currently, there a two K-awards within the division. Research projects include long-term behavioral and neurobiological outcomes of preterm birth, novel treatments to improve outcomes of children born preterm, health services projects, evaluation of shared decision-making in DBP service and training, and the use of robots to improve social skills in children with autism. Community leadership and partnership is essential to the division. The Primary Care Initiative partners developmental-behavioral pediatricians with primary care pediatricians in the primary care medical home to facilitate the provision of care to children near where they live. DBP continues a long-term relationship to collaborate with First 5 in San Mateo County and has established a partnership with First 5 Santa Cruz counties.
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