U.S. HRSA Award Supports Telehealth for Positive Parenting

Innovations Institute, in partnership with the Maryland Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MDAAP), has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program. The TREEHOUSE Program is an expansion into telehealth of the existing TREE program, a clinical service that promotes positive parenting, parent-child interactions, and social-emotional well-being through interactive, developmental telehealth coaching provided by pediatric providers to underserved families with children ages 0-2.

Margo Candelaria is the principal investigator for the TREEHOUSE Program and co-director of the Innovation’s Parent, Infant, and Early Childhood Program. She expressed her enthusiasm for this important collaborative effort: “It has been very exciting to continue our work with the MDAAP and expand TREE’s positive impact on marginalized families within primary care to the telehealth environment."

The Program increases access to quality preventive care and services to promote health equity and enhances population health among very young children, and their families, in marginalized communities. To date 30 have been trained in the TREEHOUSE model across four coaching cohorts. Data from the first three cohorts indicate that 21 providers fully completed training to receive Maintenance of Certificate professional development credits and 131 children have received a telehealth developmental coaching visit. Eighty-seven percent of trained providers reported being very or extremely satisfied with the TREEHOUSE program, and 100% of trained providers reported TREEHOUSE gave them better insight into the strengths and challenges of parents they serve. Nine cohorts total will be conducted through Spring of 2026. The TREEHOUSE project, and its predecessor, TREE, which takes place during well-child visits, was presented at the World Association of Infant Mental Health in Dublin, Ireland in July 2023.