June 02, 2003

The UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute for Head Start launched training for Head Start trainers in New Jersey on May 27, 2003. The "Train the Trainers Conference" covered issues essential to children's health, helping to reduce health care costs. The nationwide program plans to train 10,000 Head Start households over the next three years. Researchers predict that the program could save $2 million annually in Medicaid costs associated with unnecessary clinical and emergency room visits.

 Dr. Ariella Herman, senior lecturer at The Anderson School at UCLA, who led the research team that conducted the study, trained the Head Start trainers.

"We are excited to launch this nationwide training program that will have a profound impact on our children and families," said Dr. Herman.

The daylong conference addressed issues regarding common childhood ailments and ways to teach parents how to treat them. Author Gloria G. Mayer, RN, trained participants in childhood health issues featured in her book titled, "What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick." This book has proved a useful and essential tool in the Health Care Institute Head Start's pilot program as an instructional guide for parents. The book teaches parents how to care for their sick children and can subsequently be used as a reference following the training.

Working in partnership with Johnson & Johnson and Head Start, Dr. Herman developed a training program that was delivered to parents over a 30-day period in the fall of 2001. That pilot study revealed that providing Head Start parents with convenient, easy-to-understand health care information could improve the quality of care for sick children, while reducing health care costs dramatically.

Head Start families who participated in the health care training pilot study reported a 37 percent drop in visits to health care providers and a 48 percent decrease in emergency room visits in the six months following the training.

After the conference, the Head Start trainers will immediately begin training Head Start parents throughout the country.

About The Anderson School at UCLA

The Anderson School at UCLA is perennially ranked among the top-tier business schools in the world. Award winning faculty renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective students, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning opportunity. Established in 1935, The Anderson School provides management education to more than 1,300 students enrolled in full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs and academic master's and Ph.D. programs.

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