Plenary #3: We Are the Medicine: Human Development, Childhood Adversity and Flourishing…/ Christine Bethell, PHD, MBA, MPH

Since 1996, Dr. Bethell has been a national leader in the development of policy, practice and research applications of population health and systems performance measurement and family and community-centered improvement methods. As founding director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) and the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health ( she has initiated and led the collaborative development, validation and national, state and local implementation and IT-based public reporting of child, family and community health and health systems performance measurement tools The CAHMI, founded in 1996, has been a visionary research, policy, and translational resource, leading all phases in the collaborative design, testing and implementation of innovative, family-centered measurement approaches to build knowledge and shape and drive systems improvement for children, youth, and families at the national, state and local levels. This includes the design, testing and national integration of the CAHPS survey for children with special health care needs survey , the National Health Interview Survey Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supplement and a range of national endorsed health systems performance and healthcare outcomes measures used in a range of national surveys, including the now yearly National Survey of Children’s Health. A special focus is on assessing and building knowledge related to positive health development, social and emotional well-being and family and community health. She leads the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (, supported through HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau as well as efforts to develop, test and disseminate family-driven quality measurement and improvement tools such as the Well Visit Planner. She is passionate about enabling data-driven partnerships and translating the new brain sciences, mindfulness and other mind-body methods to transform health and related services, with a focus on promoting self and community-led healing, addressing childhood trauma, promoting positive health and advancing High-Reliability Organizations. She earned an MBA an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley, and Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and has completed several pieces of training in the neuroscience of child development and organizational management with the Mindful Awareness Research Center, the NeuroLeadership Institute, and others.