Skip to Content

Nurturing child development from the beginning

Healthy Steps for Young Children (Healthy Steps™) is a national initiative that focuses on the importance of the first three years of life. Healthy Steps emphasizes a close relationship between health care professionals and parents in addressing the physical, emotional, and intellectual growth and development of children from birth to age three.

In a traditional pediatric or family practice, one or more physicians or pediatric nurse practitioners, together with their support staff, typically try to address all of a child’s health-related needs. The Healthy Steps approach utilizes a professional staff member, called a Healthy Steps Specialist, whose background in child development, nursing, or social work is complemented by Healthy Steps training, is the member of the health care team who provides an effective link between the family and the pediatric and family practice. Healthy Steps Specialists offer mothers and fathers the added expertise, time, and personal support that they want to facilitate their child’s healthy growth and development. The Healthy Steps Specialist’s roles can include:

  • Conducting office visits, either jointly with the physician/pediatric nurse practitioner or alone, during regular office hours or by appointment
  • Conducting home visits to support and enhance parent-infant interactions and promote home safety
  • Conducting an ongoing system of checkups that look at both child development and family factors, as part of a health visit, as a separately scheduled office visit, or as part of a home visit
  • Helping mothers and fathers manage common behavioral concerns related to early learning, fussiness, sleep, feeding, discipline, toilet training, etc.
  • Providing referrals and follow-up, as appropriate, to help families make connections within the community
  • Facilitating parent groups
  • Staffing the Child Development Telephone Information Line
  • Coordinating Reach Out and Read activities
  • Baby Advocate
 
Our Recognized Programs

Advocate Children’s Hospital – Pediatric Residency Training Program

Hope Ambulatory Care
4440 West 95th Street
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
708.346.5415

Mark Butterly, MD, F.A.A.P.
Director of Pediatric Residency Program
708.684.1215
mark.butterly@advocatehealth.com

La'Tasha D. Lee , MS, DT, CDS
Healthy Steps Specialist
Pediatric Residency Program
Ambulatory Clinic
708.684.5415

Advocate Children’s Hospital – Pediatric Residency Training Program

Yacktman Pediatrics, 1st Floor
1675 W. Dempster
Park Ridge, IL 60068
847.723.9576

Frank Belmonte, DO
Director, Pediatric Residency Program
Medical Director, Healthy Steps for Young Children Initiative
Medical Director, Maine East School Based Health Center
Lutheran General Children’s Hospital
Assistant Director of Pediatrics for Lutheran General Hospital
847.723.9557
frank.belmonte@advocatehealth.com

Patty Mack, RN, MS, LMFT
Healthy Steps Specialist
847.723.9576

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center – Family Practice Residency Program

4600 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640
773.561.1958

Kathleen Rowland, MD 
Physician–Family Practice
773.561.7500
kathleen.rowland@advocatehealth.com

Catalina Ariza, M,Ed
Developmental Specialist
Healthy Steps Program
773.561.1958

On-Site Educational Training

Early detection and referral is crucial to addressing developmental, social, emotional, and behavioral issues. In addition, surveys indicate that parents want their child's health care provider to address child development and psycho/social issues. Families that receive these types of services have enhanced trust in, and a more successful working relationship with their physician. Additionally, they are more satisfied with the care of their children. New strategies and tools are available to aid health care providers to meet these expectations.

Anita Berry, MSN, RN, CNP, APN, PMHS
Director, Healthy Steps for Young Children Program
Advocate Children’s Hospital
630.929.6663
anita.berry@advocatehealth.com

Topics the Healthy Steps Program can offer currently include:

The Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care Project (EDOPC) was a partnership of the Advocate Health Care Healthy Steps Program and the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP). Together, we worked to improve the delivery and financing of preventive health and developmental services for children birth to three. We built on existing programs, such as the Healthy Steps model, to develop a range of strategies that primary care settings can implement to effectively provide comprehensive developmentally oriented health care.

This information was originally developed through the Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care (EDOPC) Project, which was a 2005-2013 partnership of the Advocate Health Care Healthy Steps Program and the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP). For information about the former EDOPC project and its funders, visit www.edopc.net.

To learn more about the history and successes of the EDOPC project, visit www.edopc.net or download the EDOPC six-year report. To learn about upcoming developmentally-oriented initiatives and how you can be involved, please contact: 

Rachel Sacks
Manager, Early Childhood Development
Illinois Chapter, AAP
312-733-1026 ext. 218
rsacks@illinoisaap.com
ICAAP website: Learning Management System

Computer-Based Educational Training
FAQs for Providers
Behavioral Health Community Resources
Early Childhood Resources

Early Intervention Child and Family Connections (CFC) Sites
Call 800-323-GROW to find your local Child and Family Connections
http://www.wiu.edu/ProviderConnections/links/CFCList.html

The Ounce of Prevention Fund
Serve more than 4,000 children and families directly through birth-to-five in Chicago as well as through our network of voluntary home visiting programs throughout Illinois. They advocate for state and federal funding for early childhood services that reach hundreds of thousands of children across the country.
www.ounceofprevention.org

Voice for Illinois Children
Statewide, nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy organization that is committed to building better lives for children. They engage in a range of activities — including policy research and analysis, policy advocacy, strategic communications, and community engagement — all in support of policies and programs that enhance the well-being of children, families, and communities in Illinois.
www.voices4kids.org

MCH/IDHFS Provider Programs (Maternal and Child Health Promotion)
Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
www.hfs.illinois.gov/mch

Our Team

Anita Berry MSN, RN, CNP, APN, PMHS
Director Healthy Steps for Young Children Program
Project Director EDOPC
Advocate Children’s Hospital
Advocate Support Center
3075 Highland Parkway, Suite 600
Downers Grove, IL 60515
630.929.6663 (phone) internal 55-6663
630.929.9913 (fax)
630.408.1717 (cell)
anita.berry@advocatehealth.com

Patty Mack RN,MS,LMFT
Healthy Steps Specialist 
Advocate Children’s Hospital - Park Ridge
1775 Dempster St.
Park Ridge, IL 60068 
847-723-9576 (phone) 
847-723-9566 (fax)
patty.mack@advocatehealth.com

Terra Johnson MPS
Program Manager Healthy Steps for Young Children Program
Advocate Children’s Hospital
Advocate Support Center
3075 Highland Parkway, Suite 600
Downers Grove, IL 60515
630.929.6661 (phone) internal 55-6661
630.929.9833 (fax)
terra.johnson@advocatehealth.com

Robin York, M.S.
Healthy Steps Specialist
Healthy Steps Program
Advocate Children’s Hospital
Advocate Support Center
3075 Highland Parkway, Suite 600
Downers Grove, IL 60515
630-929-6662 (phone)
630-929-9833 (fax)
robin.york@advocatehealth.com

La'Tasha D. Lee , MS, DT, CDS
Healthy Steps Specialist
Pediatric Residency Program
Ambulatory Clinic
708.684.5415

Catalina Ariza, M,Ed
Developmental Specialist
Healthy Steps Program
4600 N Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640
773.561.1958