The Early Childhood Innovation Network (ECIN) | MedStar Health

The Early Childhood Innovation Network: A Collaboration to Transform Lives

family with young baby

The Early Childhood Innovation Network (ECIN) is a local collaborative of health and education providers, community organizations, researchers, and advocates promoting resilience in families and children from pregnancy through age 5 in Washington, D.C.,

Children in the most disadvantaged communities of Washington, D.C., live in highly stressed environments and demonstrate markedly poorer health and educational outcomes compared with children living in more privileged settings. These children have less emotional stability, greater risk for physical health problems, and more ground to make up in academic readiness. The deck is stacked against them before their first day of kindergarten.

Scientific evidence from neuroscience, education, and public health research identifies the early childhood years as an ideal target for cutting-edge programs that can positively affect at-risk youth.

ECIN leads interventions to alter the academic, physical, and mental health trajectories of the city’s most vulnerable youth, and increases the chance that children can overcome early adversity to reach their full potential in life.

ECIN’s model harnesses the latest science and principles of iterative innovation and coalition-building to produce promising interventions in early childhood. The best approaches will be continuously refined into effective, replicable models. As such, ECIN serves as a community-wide catalyst for positive change in practice, education, research, and policy.

Who we are

Our network began as a groundbreaking initiative between two of the largest and most respected healthcare providers and medical research institutions in the national capital area, Children’s National Health System and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Both are proven trailblazers in changing the way care is delivered to children.

ECIN was formed after the pair’s successful 2012 partnership to spearhead the DC Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care, a highly successful, shared project that has evolved into a coordinated, multi-institution and multi-disciplinary public-private partnership. By uniting pediatric physicians, local public health officials, community health organizations and insurers, the collaborative effectively changed how the nation’s capital approaches pediatric mental health, resulting in increased screenings and interventions for high-risk children.

The collaborative and ECIN will continue as distinct yet mutually reinforcing initiatives, with Lee Ann Savio Beers, MD, and Matthew Biel, MD, MSc, championing both.

ECIN has grown to include Children’s Law Center, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, George Washington University, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, Health Alliance Network, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Parent Watch, and Total Family Care Coalition. Visit or contact ECIN at to learn more. Website visitors can meet ECIN’s team and funders, learn about ECIN’s innovations in Washington, D.C., and discover helpful resources.

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