About Mississippi Thrive!

We’re all about improving health outcomes for Mississippi’s most precious asset—its children.

We are working with families, healthcare providers and early childhood professionals to foster positive caregiver and child interactions, enhance attention to developmental milestones and strengthen children’s brain architecture.

Our Mission

We’re on a mission to improve child health development.

The goal of the Child Health and Development Project: Mississippi Thrive! is simple. Since brains grow rapidly during the earliest years, we provide information and resources to improve developmental health for children ages birth-5 years . One in six children experience developmental delays, but thankfully, identifying and addressing these delays early helps them have more successful outcomes. It’s why we’re creating a comprehensive system of early childhood screenings and interventions. When our children thrive, Mississippi Thrives!

Who are we?

Funded by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), we’re a project of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s (UMMC) Children’s of Mississippi and Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center (SSRC).

  • Shaping the policy and processes of institutions and systems related to childhood health
  • Building a statewide system of early childhood developmental screenings and interventions
  • Improving the developmental and behavioral health of Mississippi’s young children

We achieve these goals by:

  • Gaining full knowledge of the environment by conducting and analyzing surveys of parents, teachers, and healthcare providers
  • Implementing a community-based approach to assess children and provide appropriate referral and follow-up
  • Developing policy briefs and reports based on research outcomes
  • Establishing state and national advisory committees to expand the reach of our project to work with multiple partners serving young children
  • Spreading the word about the importance of marking developmental milestones and providing plenty of opportunities for back-and-forth “serve and return” interactions between adults and children
  • Enhancing the early-child developmental health system workforce through the Mississippi Thrive! fellowship program, the Distance Learning Collaborative, as well as Child Care and Health Care Practice Transformation initiatives
  • Offering screenings and clinical assessment through the Mississippi Thrive! fellowship program
  • Creating integrated access to information on screening, referral, and treatment processes
  • Improving awareness about screenings and child development using a public service health messaging campaign

Want to learn more?

Use the links below to learn more about our project and read our various publications.

Project Partners

We’re not alone in helping Mississippi’s children.

Learn more about our project partners and the important work they’re doing to help Mississippi Thrive!

Resource Partners

Valuable organizations. Valuable resources.

Our partners provide a wide assortment of resources which we share with families, teachers, and healthcare providers throughout the state. We encourage you to learn more about them.

This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $10.5 million with 0 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov today.