Lifecourse Research Network
Dr. Neal Halfon's role in the CTSI is to serve as an associate director with responsibility for maternal child and adolescent research, with a particular focus on translating clinical to community and population venues. As such he will report to the Principal Investigator, Dr Dubinett and serve as a member of the oversight committee. His administrative, program and teaching qualifications for this position come from several roles that he plays at UCLA including: i) as founding director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children Families and Communities, an interdisciplinary cross campus research, training and policy institute with faculty membership spanning five schools and 15 academic departments; ii) as founding director of the Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) funded Child and Family Health Training Program in the School of Public Health that was established in 1996 and is responsible for training doctoral students and advancing leadership of health professionals in MCH research, program development and systems improvement. He also directs several national policy development and support initiatives for MCHB. He leads the multi-year Blue Sky initiative funded by The California Endowment to envision a transformed health system for children that addresses historic challenges in incentives, disciplinary and cultural viewpoints and brings emerging scientific discovery about causes and interventions into specific recommendations for health care reform and policy. He is committed to research that changes how scientists, policymakers, providers and the general population view the health care problems facing children and is also committed to collaborative innovation and transformation as the roadmap to altering the health trajectories of individuals across the life course. From a scientific standpoint Dr. Halfon's research has focused on defining the epidemiology of child health; improving the delivery of health services to high risk and vulnerable child populations, and on developing and improving community based systems of care for children. He has also had a long standing interest on the developmental origins of childhood health conditions and on life course influences on adult health. He currently directs the new MCHB funded Life Course Research Network. He is also the Principal Investigator for the UCLA based Los Angeles and Ventura Study Center for the NICHD funded National Children's Study (NCS). In that role he not only oversees the largest site for the NCS but he is also directing or involved with several formative research projects focused on development and improving the outreach, recruitment and measurement methodologies that are being developed for that study. Dr. Halfon also serves as director of a national initiative to improve the measurement of child health in community settings. Funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation, the Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS) initiative is working with 14 cities across the US to develop better measures of child health and well being that can be used to drive data-driven community health improvement initiatives.