(New York, NY, October 26, 2022) Sesame Workshop, the educational nonprofit behind Street sezam which reaches 156 million children in more than 150 countries, and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced a new national program to address health and well-being disparities among young children, particularly in low- income, rural and marginalized communities.
The pandemic has wide-ranging and long-lasting effects on children’s health, with routine and preventive examinations sorely lacking. Preventive health care for children is critical for addressing physical, mental and emotional conditions and is essential for ensuring routine vaccinations, tracking developmental milestones, treating identified health problems and providing support to families. According to a recent public health report, missed visits among children under the age of 5 are more common among lower-income, black, and Hispanic households than among higher-income, white households. The program’s resources in English and Spanish are designed to connect and support parents and health care providers as partners in children’s care.
New research conducted by Sesame Workshop shows the need for active and supportive “healthy teams” to promote young children’s well-being—a circle of care that includes parents, culturally competent health care providers, and other caring adults. The initiative aims to reduce disparities by highlighting the unique strengths of each family and community; developing a common language for health and well-being and providing easy-to-understand resources; and fostering strong partnerships between families, health care providers, and other trusted individuals so they can work together to make informed health-related decisions for each child.
“Sesame Workshop and Quest can promote positive outcomes for children and affirm the health and well-being of families by supporting equitable, culturally competent practices,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president of US Social Impact. “Together, we are creating strategies and messages for preventive and everyday health practices, building health literacy, and addressing increasing child food insecurity to reduce health disparities by empowering parents, caregivers, and the providers who serve them.”
Quest has partnered with Sesame Workshop as part of Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE), a multi-year program focused on providing a combination of donated testing services, educational programs and funding to support initiatives working to close gaps in health disparities in underserved communities in the US
“We are excited to support the launch of this important program to help reduce healthcare disparities,” said Ruth Clements, vice president and general manager of infectious diseases and immunology at Quest Diagnostics and leader of Quest for Health Equity. “This collaboration with Sesame Workshop will create a robust network dedicated to supporting and improving the health and well-being outcomes of children in under-resourced communities and empowering parents to become strong advocates for their families.”
The program’s bilingual resources are designed to connect and support parents and health care providers as partners in child health care by:
- Promoting the well-being of the whole child
- Envision daily family routines as building blocks for learning healthy habits and achieving milestones in both body and mind development
- Offer families and children, especially the most marginalized, ways to support their children’s health by understanding their growing needs in areas such as nutrition, physical milestones, preventive care and social-emotional health
- Focusing on building a strong team
- Engage the broader spectrum of child care by using resources that support and empower parents in their communication with a wide range of providers, including non-traditional providers and influential community leaders
- Support families to proactively use healthcare systems and communicate more effectively with their healthcare teams
- Work with our partners to integrate and disseminate these provider resources in these key communities so that families can access the information they need to improve their children’s well-being
- Building on the strengths of families
- Help providers explore the idea that families’ unique strengths—including those related to their race, ethnicity, and culture—are assets to address challenges
- foster fair, culturally competent partnerships and building trust between parents and caregivers, children and their health care providers
The new resources will be available at sesamestreetincommunities.org/topics/health/ and will be implemented with key national partners to reach families and children, especially those in marginalized communities, and disseminated through Sesame Street in the communitiesprogram to support community providers in their work to help children meet challenges, big and small. Sesame Street in the communities combines Sesame Workshop’s proven and trusted expertise in early childhood education with an incredible network of educators, social workers, health care providers and community organizations across the country.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and educating children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help children everywhere become smarter, stronger and better. We are present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical laboratory results, Quest’s diagnostic insights reveal new ways to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve healthcare management. Quest Diagnostics serves one in three American adults and half of the physicians and hospitals in the United States annually, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that in the right hands and in the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire action that transforms lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.
About Quest for Health Equity
Quest for Health Equity is an initiative of Quest Diagnostics and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation focused on providing resources, funding, testing services and education to address health disparities in underserved communities across the US