National Children's Study

Beginning in the summer of 2009, Dr. Marianne Felice, chair of pediatrics at UMMS and physician-in-chief of the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, and her team will be aided by a small army of field researchers, environmental experts, obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses and community leaders to recruit 1,000 infants from Worcester County - before they are born, or in some cases conceived – and closely track them until their 21st birthdays. The data the team collects about the children’s health and environments will be vast. Children from Worcester County will be part of a cohort of 100,000 enrolled over the course of five years through 105 sites across the country in an unprecedented effort to provide vital new insights into the effects of environmental and genetic factors on human growth, development and disease. Conclusions of the NCS are expected to help the United States set environmental, social and health policy that will affect millions of people for generations to come.

 NCS Group
The UMass team was awarded a highly competitive NCS contract in October 2007 that will provide $16.2 million for the first five years of the study, during which UMMS will hire staff, establish laboratory and office space, engage the community and hospitals and recruit participants. UMMS was the only institution in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to win its own NCS contract.


UMMS National Children's Study Leadership


 Felice NCS While Chair of Pediatrics and the principal investigator of the UMMS arm of the NCS (called the Massachusetts Child Health Indicators and Life Determinants - Mass CHILD), Marianne Felice, will be the "face" of the project in the community and will have overall responsibility for it.
Marianne Felice, MD
 McLaughlin Thomas McLaughlin, is the co-principal investigator of the Mass CHILD and responsible for direct oversight of all research activities related to the project.  He has been involved in the design and conceptualization and design of the NCS since 2000. 
Thomas J. McLaughlin, ScD
 Aupont Onesky Aupont is the study director and operations manager for the project.  He will oversee the day-to-day management of Mass CHILD and direct the activities of all the staff members.  Mass CHILD expects to hire the equivalent of 85 full-time employees.
Onesky Aupont, MD, MPH, MA, PhD
 Janet Hardy Janet Hardy, a perinatal epidemiologist, will co-lead the efforts to engage all 11 hospitals at which women in Worcester County deliver their infants.  Dr. Hardy will supervise the five hospital negotiators to be hired for the project and ensure that relevant hospitals are involved and participating in the project.
Janet Hardy, MPH, MSc, PhD
 Moore Tiffany Moore Simas will co-lead the initial efforts at hospital engagement.  She will also oversee all obstetrics activities, working with the ultrasonography unit and the nurses and nurse midwives who will conduct prenatal visits at home and in clinic, and will coordinate neonatal exams in collaboration with Marianne Felice.
Tiffany Moore Simas, MD, MPH
 no pic Judith Ockene is the senior advisor on all survey activities.  She is also the principal investigator of the UMMS site for the national Women's Health Initiative, a longitudinal health study whose findings reversed the thinking surrounding hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women.
Judith Ockene, PhD, MEd, MA
 RdLuzuriaga Katherine Ruiz de Luzuriaga is the laboratory director of Mass CHILD and responsible for overseeing all laboratory functions and quality assurance.  She will supervise the senior research associates responsible for overseeing collection, processing and shipment of specimens to ensure that NCS receives clean, accurate materials.
Katherine Ruiz de Luzuriaga, MD
no pic Robert Goldberg is a UMMS professor of medicine who is well known for his role as principal investigator of the Worcester Heart Attack Study and Worcester Heart Failure Study.  His role is to advise Mass CHILD leadership about the recruitment and retention of fathers in the study for crucial data collection.
Robert Goldberg, PhD
no pic Ronald Kessler, professor of health care policy at the Harvard Medical School and co-director of the WHO's World Mental Health Surveys, will advise the Mass CHILD leadership about the challenges of long-term retention of study subjects.
Ronald Kessler, PhD



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