The Good News: What You Do Matters (Bethell) (.5 Hour)

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This discussion was first published as part of the NFPA 2021 Education Conference, entitled ‘Forward: Hope. Care. Change’.

For the past 35 years, Dr. Bethell has built her work and career around an intentional goal to catalyze health care and public health transformation at the policy, systems, and practice levels. This has been driven by an unwavering focus on advancing a whole-person, whole-family, and whole-community model of care that engages patients and the public, is transparent, continuously learning, and collaborative. 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 (, a project supported through HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, 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 and outcomes.

Dr. Bethell has maintained a consistent focus on assessing and building knowledge related to positive health development, social and emotional well-being, and family and community health. She also advocates for policy reform and is currently advocating for positive health development, healing-centered and trauma-informed approaches nationally and in state and local areas. Dr. Bethell 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 and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Bethell’s current areas of focus include:

  • Promoting early and lifelong health of children, families and communities using patient/family centered data and tools that inform and drive transformational partnerships, innovation and improved health and well-being nationally and in state and local areas.
  • Integrating the sciences of human development, neuroscience and thriving into the training and practice of medicine. Specifically, to advance a relationship-centered, positive construct of health that fully engages patients, families, youth and communities to impact the social, emotional and behavioral determinants of health and improve health outcomes.
  • Putting patients, families and communities at the center of health services quality measurement and improvement and population health and equity improvement.
  • Advancing payment, performance measurement and systems reform to support a transformed health care system focused on population health, equity and well-being at all levels.
  • Building research and evidence based advocacy resources and building capacity of the workforce to advance continued knowledge and innovations effective in promoting a whole-person, whole-family and whole-community construct of health and well-being.

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