Brooklyn, NY, May 8, 2024 — Maimonides Health is excited to expand integrated developmental, behavioral, and mental health services and support for families with young children during the first thousand days of life. This expanded clinical service is made possible by $433,000 in funding from the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), as part of the state’s latest expansion of its HealthySteps Program.
The grant, to be disbursed over a five-year period, will enable Maimonides to create a new HealthySteps site at its Newkirk Family Health Center, expanding its existing pediatric primary care center to include these unique services previously only offered at Maimonides through its Brooklyn Parenting Center. This funding is part of New York State’s $7 million in grants to establish 46 new sites in 19 counties and $10.7 million to expand 51 existing sites, with a goal of growing the program to serve roughly 354,000 children at 224 sites statewide by 2027.
HealthySteps is an evidence-based program that integrates child development specialists into the pediatric primary care setting to provide wraparound services for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. HealthySteps specialists use a two-generation approach to promote well-being and address concerns about challenging behaviors, developmental delays, caregiver mental health, and family needs such as food and housing instability. The model emphasizes preventative efforts and guidance to prevent future mental health challenges.
The Brooklyn Parenting Center, established in 2023, offers comprehensive social and emotional care for both parents and children in a low-barrier setting where families are already accessing healthcare. Teams of obstetric, prenatal, and pediatric specialists screen families for unmet psycho-social needs, intergenerational trauma, and mental health concerns before their child is born, shortly following their child’s birth, or in the early childhood stage of 0-2 years old. These services help address health risk factors and connect patients with mental health professionals and community organizations to assist them with accessing the care they need.
“The new Brooklyn Parenting Center extension will help so many families gain access to support services during what we know is the formative and critical period of early childhood that will shape long-term health outcomes,“ said Yonit Lax, MD, Brooklyn Parenting Center Program Director and Chief of Pediatric Community Health at Maimonides. “Newkirk Family Health Center is one of our main primary care locations, that serves a diverse group of families so this is a huge step in making this resource more accessible and bringing our team’s expertise directly to where it is most needed.”
“We are grateful to be able to use this state grant funding to bring this transformative care model to more patients in Brooklyn who need it,” said Jeffrey Avner, MD, Chair of Pediatrics at Maimonides. “The Brooklyn Parenting Center itself was also created with public grant funding, and we have seen incredible results so far in the brief time since its launch. This preventative approach to mental and behavioral health is so important to helping families get the resources they need to be healthy and successful.”
For more information about the Brooklyn Parenting Center, visit the Center’s website or call (718) 283-6347.

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About Maimonides Health
Maimonides Health is Brooklyn’s largest healthcare system, serving over 300,000 patients each year through the system’s 3 hospitals, 1,700+ physicians and more than 80 community-based practices and outpatient centers. The system is anchored by Maimonides Medical Center, one of the nation’s largest independent teaching hospitals and home to centers of excellence in numerous specialties and Maimonides Midwood Community Hospital (formerly New York Community Hospital), a 130-bed adult medical-surgical hospital; and Maimonides Children’s Hospital, Brooklyn’s only children’s hospital and only pediatric trauma center.

Maimonides’ clinical programs rank among the best in the country for patient outcomes, including its Heart and Vascular Institute, Neurosciences Institute, Bone and Joint Center, and Cancer Center. Maimonides is an affiliate of Northwell Health and a major clinical training site for SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. For additional information, please visit maimo.org.

About Maimonides Children’s Hospital
Maimonides Children’s Hospital, Brooklyn’s only Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Trauma Center, offers a full array of pediatric primary care and specialty services. We are also a Regional Perinatal Center and a member of the Children’s Oncology Group. Our staff comprises an outstanding team of board-certified pediatric physicians, surgeons, nurses, nurse practitioners, and child life specialists who dedicate their lives to the health and well-being of children. Our pediatric-specific interdisciplinary approach ensures each child receives the expertise and best care possible in an environment created and designed for their comfort. For additional information, please visit maimo.org/treatments-care/childrens-hospital/

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