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WAFCA-CE Early Experiences Elevate Everything: Early Brain & Child Development and the Future of Society
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST
Category: WAFCA CE Training


Early Experiences Elevate Everything: Early Brain & Child Development and the Future of Society
Presented by:
Corina Norrbom, MD Medical College of Wisconsin; Dipesh Navsaria, MD UW Health; Abbi Kruse Conscious Discipline; Rob Grunewald Minneapolis Federal Reserve

Event Description:

This presentation will cover an immense amount of ground from foundational knowledge about early brain development and infant mental health to effective interventions and how to advocate for their expansion throughout our state. The workshop will explore the benefits of supporting parents and young children for communities and society as a whole, and practice tips for supporting parents and caregivers to optimize brain development and foster infant mental health. A local program, LENA Start, will be highlighted and participants will learn how this community public/private partnership in Marathon County was implemented as a part of local efforts to support parents in their efforts to build their babies’ brains. Information about the impact of accessible, affordable, high-quality childcare and early childhood education on early brain development and infant mental health, particularly for children from low SES backgrounds, will be covered, along with a real-life example from The Playing Field. Finally, research and other resources to help agencies advocate for investments in programs like The Playing Field and LENA Start, including ROI information, will be shared.

4 continuing education hours will be provided to those who complete the webinar; those who exit early are eligible for partial credit. Certificates are issued within 30 days.

About the Presenters:

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD is a pediatrician working in the public interest. He blends the roles of physician, occasional children's librarian, educator, public health professional and child health advocate. With graduate degrees in public health, children’s librarianship, physician assistant studies, and medicine, he brings a unique combination of interests and experience together. An associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, he has practiced primary care pediatrics in a variety of settings with special interest in underserved populations. With a graduate degree in children’s librarianship, he has the right skill set to be the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin and the founder and director of the Pediatric Early Literacy Projects at the University of Wisconsin. With respect to education, Dr. Navsaria is heavily involved in advocacy training for and is frequently involved in medical student and physician assistant education from the clinical arena through myriad small group and lecture formats. He serves as the medical director of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s physician assistant program, and is also the director of the MD–MPH program. Dr. Navsaria works with the American Academy of Pediatrics on a state level, serving as the current vice-president of the Wisconsin Chapter. He also has served nationally on a number of committees, including being the founding co-chair of the Early Literacy Subcommittee of the Council on Early Childhood. He regularly writes op-eds on health-related topics, does radio and television interviews, and frequently speaks locally, regionally and nationally on early brain and child development, early literacy, and advocacy to a broad variety of audiences. He also has a modest professional presence on social media.

Read Dr. Dipesh Navsaria's full biography here.

Abbi Kruse is the founder and Executive Director of The Playing Field in Madison, Wisconsin. The Playing Field is a unique, early childhood program aimed at minimizing the disparities in early education opportunities. The organization is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by low income families in accessing high quality care. 

In addition to this role, Abbi travels across the country to train teachers and school administrators on Conscious Discipline and the importance of social emotional development. She is passionate about offering educators the skills needed to support children- particularly those who have been impacted by early adversity or trauma.

Abbi's professional roles have included kindergarten teacher, program director, instructional coach, and professional development director. 

Corina Norrbom, MD has been Health Policy Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service since 2013. She is a family physician and Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin where she co-directs the Physician in the Community course. Dr. Norrbom is passionate about addressing the many factors beyond medical care that affect the health of individuals and their communities, and she has been and continues to be involved in many local and statewide projects that address social determinants of health.

As a champion of the importance of early childhood development, she organized Baby Business: The Dollars and Sense of Investing in Working Parents (2016), which brought people from diverse backgrounds and professions together to build awareness about the return on investment for optimizing early childhood development and how this impacts present and future workforce. The follow-up Baby Business 2: Strengthening Today’s Workforce, Preparing Tomorrow’s (2017) furthered discussions around the role of employers and community action. She brought LENA Start to Marathon County with the help of an amazing group of partners and supporters and serves as Program Director.

Read Dr. Corina Norrbom's full biography here

 *This opportunity is being provided with funding support from the Great Lakes Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. For additional training and resources available through the MHTTC, visit their website

About our Offerings:

WAFCA has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6778. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. WAFCA is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. Visit the WAFCA-CE registration page for more information on fees and policies. 

Wisconsin Association of Family & Children's Agencies (WAFCA)
16 N Carroll St, #750
Madison, WI 53703  (608) 257-5939 


Contact: Rachel Kruse: [email protected], 608.257.5939