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National Children’s Study set to roll out in Waukesha

May 7, 2009 By Terry Devitt

The National Children’s Study‘s Waukesha County Vanguard Center begins recruiting volunteers on Monday, May 11, to take part in the largest long-term study of children’s health and development ever conducted in the U.S. The study will track the health and development of more than 100,000 children from before birth to their 21st birthday.

Trained research staff will go door-to-door in 17 neighborhoods throughout Waukesha County. These neighborhoods are located in Big Bend, Brookfield, Dousman, Hartland, Menomonee Falls, New Berlin, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Sussex and Waukesha. Research staff will be looking for eligible families and inviting them to participate in the study.

“People in Waukesha County have been working hard to bring the National Children’s Study to our community. We’re excited that the day is finally here,” says Christine Cronk, associate professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin and co-principal investigator for the National Children’s Study Waukesha County Vanguard Center. “By volunteering to participate in the National Children’s Study, Waukesha families can have a great impact on the health of children across the nation.”

“Large-scale studies like this have the potential to yield insight into the development of conditions ranging from asthma to autism,” says Maureen Durkin, UW–Madison professor of population health sciences and pediatrics and co-principal investigator for the Waukesha County site. “Waukesha families will contribute to an understanding of childhood health problems and an understanding of how best to improve the health of American children.”

The National Children’s Study was authorized by Congress in the Children’s Health Act of 2000. In addition to the National Institutes of Child Health and Development, members of the consortium carrying out the study include National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Waukesha County has been chosen to be one of seven Vanguard Centers, or pilot sites, for the National Children’s Study.

“Families in Waukesha County will be taking the first steps for the National Children’s Study and will help ensure its success in the other communities where the study will eventually take place,” says Katie Miller, community liaison for the Waukesha County Vanguard Center.

The National Children’s Study will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. Within Waukesha County, UW–Madison and the Medical College of Wisconsin are conducting the study in collaboration with the Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee and the National Opinion Research Center.