Help Me Grow Western New York to Host National Forum in May 2019

Help Me Grow Western New York to Host National Forum in May 2019

Apr 24, 2018 | Forum, gallery

Annual three-day conference will bring an expected 500 attendees to downtown Buffalo

Buffalo, NY (April 19, 2018) – The Help Me Grow National Center, based at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, announced that its regional affiliate, Help Me Grow Western New York (HMGWNY), will host the 10th annual Help Me Grow National Forum in Buffalo in May 2019. The three-day forum is expected to attract 500 professionals from across the country, representing the fields of health care, early childhood, education, mental health, higher education, and philanthropy.

“Forum 2019 will provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase the dedication and innovation of HMGWNY’s many partners in the medical, education, human service, and health care sectors, while inviting professionals from around the country to gather in support of young children,” said Lynn Pullano, Director, HMGWNY.  “We recognize the need to give little ones the strongest foundation during their first five years of life, when 85 percent of brain and personality development occur. The Help Me Grow approach allows us to make children’s health, well-being, and school preparedness a top priority so they’re on track to stable, successful futures, which is critical for them and our communities. We look forward to sharing with the nation our pride in the Buffalo-Niagara region, one of the best places to raise children!”

HMGWNY is an early childhood resource available free of charge for families and caregivers of children ranging from birth through age five, in all eight Western New York counties. The goal of HMGWNY is to educate the community about the importance of early development while linking parents and caregivers to information, activities and local support systems that advance young children’s health, well-being and school readiness. To date, HMGWNY has served more than 3,700 children and their families by connecting them to local resources and service providers and tracking key developmental milestones.

Earlier this month at the 2018 Help Me Grow National Forum in Seattle, Washington, it was announced to attendees that the 2019 National Forum would take place in Buffalo. The 2019 event will be sponsored by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

“We are so excited to bring the 2019 Help Me Grow National Forum to Buffalo,” said Kimberly Martini-Carvell, executive director of the Help Me Grow National Center. “In certain respects, Buffalo can be considered the ‘home’ of early childhood, as our nation’s first childcare center was founded here in 1881, and the first U.S, kindergarten program launched in Buffalo, too. We look forward to convening here with fellow child health advocates from across the country.”

Paul Dworkin, MD founded Help Me Grow in 1997 as a pilot program in Hartford, Connecticut. Since then, Help Me Grow has expanded to include affiliates in 28 states that receive support and technical assistance from the Help Me Grow National Center to advance the early detection of developmental and behavioral concerns in young children, and ensure they are connected to community-based programs and services across an array of child-serving sectors that can intervene even before such concerns reach diagnosable levels. In 2017 alone, Help Me Grow affiliates served more than 81,000 children and families across the country.

“Help Me Grow bridges the divide between all of the sectors that impact child health and development outcomes to collectively improve developmental trajectories for children,” said Paul Dworkin, MD, the founding director of the Help Me Grow National Center and executive vice president for community child health at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “As one of our earliest affiliates, HMGWNY has built impressive support for its efforts from funders, such as the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, as well as partners such as Niagara University. We look forward to highlighting best practices from HMGWNY during the 2019 Help Me Grow National Forum.”

HMGWNY is a unique collaboration of regional organizations from a variety of fields who have joined together to improve outcomes for children, recognizing the importance of a strong foundation early in life, as well as long-term savings to society in reduced mental health, substance abuse, health care, and criminal justice expenses. There are 18 leadership organizations involved with HMGWNY. In addition to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, and Niagara University, others include UBMD Pediatrics, Erie and Niagara County Departments of Social Services, Erie County Department of Health, regional United Ways, and Olmsted Center for Sight/2-1-1 WNY. More than 60 direct service providers comprise the HMGWNY resource network.

Families and those who work with or care for young children can contact HMGWNY by visiting or calling 2-1-1.


About Connecticut Children’s Medical Center:

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. With a medical staff of more than 1,000, Connecticut Children’s provides comprehensive, world-class health care in more than 30 pediatric specialties and subspecialties. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization, which serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for the UConn School of Medicine, has a teaching partnership with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University and is a research partner of The Jackson Laboratory. Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health is a national leader in community-based prevention and wellness programs.


Media Contact:
Kailey Kolozsvary
Martin Davison Public Relations