In 2001, the National Commission on Partnerships for Children's Health held a conference of Southeastern state officials and higher education representatives on ways to form regional child-health collaborations.
The National Commission on Partnerships for Children's Health works to engage higher education in working with state and local agencies on the health and welfare of children and families.
- The commission's two-day conference, "Investing Intellectual Capital in Early Childhood Health" took place October 17–18, 2000, in Charlotte, N.C. The conference aimed to:
- Demonstrate the political will to enlist higher education in helping to integrate child health services into early childhood programs.
- Identify priority needs and promising models to help post-secondary institutions achieve this integration.
- Initiate the development of state and regional structures and incentives to support such collaborations.
- In response to the meeting's goals, conferees agreed to The Charlotte Principles, which outlines steps that states and universities should take in working together to improve child health (see Appendix 2). Among the principles, each state agreed to:
- Encourage academic leaders, especially those in health-related disciplines, to visit early childhood settings.
- Coordinate strategies across institutions, disciplines and sectors through a new strategic partnership with a concrete, measurable focus.
- Organize the involvement of higher education as a partner in bridging early childhood health and education.
- The project director concluded that formidable barriers exist to bringing together higher education and state governments to work on child health issues.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $49,050 to Harvard University School of Public Health.