Quest Diagnostics on Wednesday announced support for a new program with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street.”
The resources launched aim to address health and well-being inequities among young children, particularly in low-income, rural and marginalized communities.
Resources, made possible through a grant from Secaucus-based Quest, focus on children’s wider circle of care by supporting parents and caregivers in communicating with providers, through videos, interactive role-playing, digital storybooks, printable guides and more.
The pandemic has had wide-ranging and lingering effects on children’s health, causing many to miss routine and preventive health care checkups. Preventive health care for children is critical to address physical, mental and emotional conditions and is essential for providing routine vaccinations, tracking developmental milestones, treating identified health concerns and providing support to families.
These new bilingual resources, available in English and Spanish, are designed to connect and support parents, caregivers and health care providers as partners in children’s health care by promoting whole child well-being, focusing on forming a healthy team and building on families’ strengths. Each family has their own unique strengths, and many of those strengths are related to their culture. The resources include:
- “I’m Listening,” a new video featuring Rosita and her abuela (grandmother) visiting their pediatrician for Rosita’s 5-year-old well visit. This fun and engaging video reminds us that well-child visits are a great time to communicate. Good communication among family, health care providers and children leads to trusting relationships and inspires healthy habits.
- Elmo and Abby’s Check-up Play Date, an interactive role-playing game where Elmo and Abby pretend they’re doctors. Make-believe play builds a variety of helpful skills. Children can “act out” familiar scenes and work through their emotions. When they’re playing the doctor, children feel more in control and less nervous about the unknown.
- “Hooray for Healthy Teams!” is a digital storybook for parents and caregivers to read together with children about their “healthy team” — parents, extended family, caregivers, teachers, doctors, nurses and themselves.
- A printable activity book for caregivers and children to prepare for doctor visits, with tips for before, during and after a visit and activities and games to help children feel comfortable and calm. Also available are printable guides to help prepare for, and make the most of, children’s well-visits and printable posters for health care providers.
“We’re proud to work with Quest in creating resources that empower our ‘healthy teams’ with a common language that highlights the unique strengths of families and communities,” Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president of U.S. social impact, said. “Completing that circle of care, especially for those most marginalized communities, is essential to ensure our young ones are on track to grow and thrive.”
The new resources will be available in English here and in Spanish here and are being implemented with national partners — the Council on Black Health, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, National Association of Community Health Centers and the Center for Indigenous Health.
Additionally, they are being distributed through the Sesame Street in Communities program, an initiative for community providers who serve families and help children face challenges big and small. Teachers, health care professionals, social workers — any providers working with families and children — are invited to use and share Sesame Workshop’s large and growing library of bilingual resources and professional development tools, created to support them in their vital work.