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Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries, and Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced a new nationwide program to address health and well-being inequities among young children, particularly in low-income, rural, and marginalized communities. 

The pandemic has had wide-ranging and lingering effects on children’s health, with many missing routine and preventive healthcare check-ups. Preventive health care for children is critical to address physical, mental, and emotional conditions and essential for providing routine vaccinations, tracking developmental milestones, treating identified health concerns, and providing support to families. According to a recent Public Health Report, missed visits among children under 5 years old were more common among lower-income, Black, and Latinx households than among higher-income and White households. The program’s English and Spanish-language resources are designed to connect and support parents and healthcare providers as partners in children’s care. 

New research conducted by Sesame Workshop indicates a need for active and supportive “healthy teams” to promote young children’s well-being—a circle of care that includes parents, culturally-competent healthcare providers, and other caring adults. The initiative aims to reduce disparities by highlighting the unique strengths of each family and community; developing a common language around health and wellness and providing easy-to-understand resources; and fostering strong partnerships between families, healthcare providers, and other trusted individuals so that they can work together to make informed health-related decisions for each child. 

“Sesame Workshop and Quest can promote positive outcomes for children and affirm families’ health and well-being by supporting equitable, culturally-competent practices,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact. “Together, we’re creating strategies and messages around preventive and everyday healthy practices, building health literacy, and addressing the increase in children’s food insecurity to reduce health inequities by empowering parents, caregivers, and the providers who serve them.”

Quest is teaming up with Sesame Workshop as part of Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE), a multi-year program focused on providing a combination of donated testing services, education programs, and funding to support initiatives working to close the gap in healthcare disparities in underserved communities across the U.S.

“We are excited to support the launch of this important program to help reduce health inequities,” said Ruth Clements, Vice President and General Manager of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at Quest Diagnostics and leader of Quest for Health Equity. “This collaboration with Sesame Workshop will create a solid network dedicated to supporting and improving health and wellness outcomes for children in under-resourced communities and empower parents to become strong advocates for their families.” 

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