The Jacob Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences at UCLA

Leveraging the Science of Health Development: Designing Systems that Help Children Thrive
Thursday, Feb 5, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Speaker: Heal Halfon, Professor Pediatrics, Public Health, and Public Policy and Director of the Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, UCLA

Host: Mark A. Peterson, Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law

In the past two decades there has been revolution in the understanding of how health develops over the life course. Research in life course sociology, life span human development psychology, chronic disease epidemiology, epigenetics, and neurodevelopment have all converged to generate a very different and dynamic model of health development. This new conceptual understanding has given rise to an analytic approach that is transforming how health systems are designed and how health care services will be organized and paid for. As the 1.0 medical care system that has focuses on rescues care and acute and infectious diseases is currently being transformed, with the help of Obamacare, into a 2.0 health care system focused on chronic disease prevention and management, the seeds of a 3.0 health system focused on optimizing lifelong health is already emerging. Starting point of this new approach is child health development, and the recognition of how much lifelong health potential is telescoped into the first years of life. This talk will cover the scientific and theoretical basis of this transformative process, as well as practical and policy implications, challenges, and opportunities.