Dr. Dipesh Navsaria

| March 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

DipeshNavsaria2_125x140The Chicago Moms Chat With Dr. Navsaria


Q ~ Literacy is such a powerful right, yet in many parts of the world it is hard to come by, do you see this as a way to block peace and peaceful existence?  We take literacy for granted but even in the U.S. there are areas that suffer greatly from a lack of education. What are the most visible impacts this on have on young minds?

A ~ Literacy is really the fundamental skill for learning in almost all forms — most knowledge that we share with one another is delivered through text, whether that be on a printed page, tablet screen, or computer display.  Without a clear foundation for literacy starting the earliest days of life, we are already allowing children to fall behind in their chances for educational success.  I’m not talking about reading at an early age, but rather about concepts of emergent literacy: the notion that print conveys information, basic conventions of handling books, and positive feelings towards books and reading.

We talk a lot about the achievement gap, and solutions often aim at schools.  The reality is that the achievement gap begins in the first thousand days of life, and if we want an effective answer to close that gap, it’s going to be through a process which supports and transforms the lives of parents of young children.


Q ~ Please tell us why Early Brain and Child Development Leadership Workshop is so important?

A~ What the American Academy of Pediatrics has done is to officially recognize a paradigm shift in quality health care for children.  When you think of pediatricians and other clinicians who care for children, most people’s image is of someone who treats ear infections, dispenses advice about safety, and administers immunizations.  All of these are still true — but our job has changed to include concepts like “developmental assurance”.  In a sense, we are all in the “making capable young adults” business.  We need to make sure that this evolving sense of the role of pediatrics is heard, appreciated, and engaged throughout all aspects of the Academy.

Through the Early Brain and Child Development (EBCD) Leadership Group, we are able to pull together decades of basic science research, clinical knowledge, translational research, population health, psychology, child development concepts, and advocacy in order to come up with effective ideas and strategies to profoundly affect the first thousand days of life in positive ways by influencing programs, policies and, ultimately: people.

Q~ What is so important about the ‘early’ years? what constitutes “early”? What was your pathway to this line of research and medicine? How did you develop a passion for child advocacy?

A~ There are many definitions of “early” — but for the purposes of EBCD, the first thousand days of life (about 3 years of age) are key.  They are important in that the foundational building blocks of learning which follow are best built in this time period, supported and fueled, as it were, by strong, nurturing relationships with caring adults.  Children learn from interactions with those around them — people, not products!

Dr Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD

Early Brain and Child Development Leadership Group, American Academy of Pediatrics

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Medical Director, Reach Out and Read Wisconsin


Fun-Filled, Educational Event March 8 & 9 

 REGISTER:   Advance online registration at http://www.healthychildrenexpo.org/thechicagomoms $8 per day

                            Event day: $10 per day

                            Children 18 and under are free

                           Follow hashtag #HCCE14 

American Academy of Pediatrics Hosts Its Premier Healthy Children Conference + Expo

The American Academy of Pediatrics is hosting its first-ever Healthy Children Conference + Expo March 8 and 9, featuring experts from around the country discussing the latest developments in children’s health on topics ranging from breastfeeding to bullying. Parents, grandparents, caregivers and kids are invited to attend the event, which will combine entertainment and education relating to kids from infants to teens.

All presentations and activities are covered under a daily entrance fee of $8 in advance, and $10 at the door. Kids 18 and under attend free.

Among the featured presentations:

  • Heidi Murkoff, author of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, will engage in a in a lively, informative Q&A session moderated by AAP President James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, on Sunday, March 9
  • KIDS (Kids and Families Impacting Disease through Science), an advisory group of young people experiencing serious medical issues will share their insights into the drug development process and how research and innovation affects young patients on Saturday, March 8.
  • Interactive sessions will explore concerns of everyday life, such as childhood obesity, social media and technology, bullying and youth violence prevention.
  • Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel will demonstrate the importance of water safety on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9.


The event is divided into four tracks that feature exhibitors, conference sessions, cooking demonstrations and workshops on important developmental topics:

  • Healthy Living – Nutrition, fitness, oral health and emotional wellness.
  • Safety & Prevention – Keeping children safe at home, on the road and at play, immunizations, and all safety-related issues.
  • Family Life – Work-life balance and parenting advice.
  • Health Issues – Common health conditions, such as allergies, learning disabilities, acne.

After speakers’ presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversation with the presenters. Visitors can also check out the Link Up Loungehosted by blogger community The Chicago Moms, where they can view the Twitter wall and connect with some of Chicago’s leading mom bloggers.

“This is a rare and unusual opportunity for parents and kids to interact with some of the nation’s leading experts, all gathered under one roof, for less than the cost of a typical doctor’s office co-pay,” said pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP. Dr. Shu, who is the medical editor of the AAP website for parents, HealthyChildren.org, will present two sessions at the Expo, including a seminar on the latest recommendations for caring for newborns.

Family activities will include live music, magic shows, art projects, cooking demonstrations and an indoor play zone and learning zone where kids of all ages can have fun and explore. A story corner, hosted by Reach Out and Read, will feature readings by local authors to demonstrate the importance of reading aloud to kids and literacy development. Onsite services will include a nursing and feeding lounge, diaper changing station, bookstore and child care services, courtesy of Kids & Company.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday, March 8; and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. Admission per day is $8 for online pre-registration and $10 at the door. Children 18 and under get in free. To view the full conference agenda and registration information, please visit http://www.healthychildrenexpo.org. All conference sessions are free to attendees with paid admission. Some affiliate partners for the event include American Diabetes Association, Illinois Health Connect, the North Suburban Children’s Business Network and Neighborhood Parents Network, and the conference is supported by Mead Johnson Nutrition, the leading representative in children’s nutrition, and the Ed Napleton Auto Group.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.


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Category: Chicago, New Posts

About Dwana: Dwana authors a few blogs, is a full-time officer of the court and mom to two wonderful young men and two dogs. You can find her rants, advice for healthy living and Chicago tips at: "Healthier, Happier, You!", Chicagonista.com, TheChicagoMoms.com & ChicagonistaLIVE.com View author profile.

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