Upon joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1996, Dr. Sturner and Dr. Howard sought to establish a laboratory in which to create a model for a more comprehensive pediatrics practice of the future, incorporating state of the art knowledge regarding child and family development. The Center for Promotion of Child Development through Primary Care was conceived of, in part, as an arena to explore means of implementing advances into a typical pediatric practice, with a main mechanism being the use of a comprehensive electronic system (the Child Health and Development Interactive System, or CHADIS). The Center was also established in order to explore the potential for reconceptualizing the "routine physical exam" as a psychological test (see microanalytic laboratory).
The laboratory space for the Center is at a new pediatric practice associated with Franklin Square Hospital. For laboratory studies, families comprise a convenience sample of the practice, including a wide spectrum of demographics (40% having Medicaid insurance). Health supervision visits are conducted using a protocol that highlights strengths of the child and family as well as current challenges.
Dr. Howard continues to be PI on a Collaborative Office Rounds (COR) training grant from MCHB, which allows us to provide CME to community pediatricians and Hopkins residents through monthly and quarterly case discussion sessions, some in conjunction with Dr. Lawrence Wissow, a child psychiatrist on the faculty at Johns Hopkins. The Center continues to bring together trainees and faculty from a wide variety of disciplines. In addition to the Developmental-Behavvioral fellowship program that concluded in 2003, other trainees who have completed electives and internships at the center include practicing pediatricians, medical students, and graduate students in developmental psychology, clinical psychology, applied developmental psychology, counseling psychology, and public health. The Center is serves as a focal point for collaboration in child development related projects using the health supervision visit as the paradigm for study and for potential universal application.
In 2000, the Center was formally established as an independent non-profit organization. Funding has been obtained through multiple sources (see funding). We have subsequently established a for-profit subsidiary of the Center called Total Child Health, Inc. (TCH). The establishment of TCH positioned us to compete for and receive a Small Business Initiated Research (SBIR) award from NICHD. TCH continues to oversee the sales of CHADIS and other aspects of Center business.