Evidence has shown a strong association between poverty and health disparities, including mental health, education and child outcomes (Carter &Briggs-Gowan, 2005). According to Marmot's Fair Society Health Lives (2010), "inequities in health arise because of inequities in society - in the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age." Additional evidence from neuroscience and early childhood development research has shown that eariy childhood, particulariy a child's first five years, lays the foundation necessary for the complex skills they will need as adults to become successfully employed, lawful, cooperative and productive (Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, 2007). As a result, actions to reduce health disparities must start from before birth and continue through the life span to reduce inequities due to socioeconomic status or disparate opportunities that deprive a fair and healthy start for all children. For necessary action to be taken to reduce disparities, policies have to be in place to support and require the appropriate action at the federal, state and local government and community levels. There is demonstrable evidence showing that even when they are in place, written policies alone do not adequately address health inequities until they are supported with effective local delivery systems and community participatory action. Thus, to effectively reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities, the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (SHLI/MSM) proposes a Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) to engage nine states'members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Action Institute (REHDAI) to evaluate the extent to which the outcomes of quality parenting impacts healthy child development, and how state and local policies ensure that every child receives quality parenting and eariy child development through supportive programs and public service delivery systems with community participation in decision-making.
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