The University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics launched a multidisciplinary clinic in 1964 to address the needs of children with developmental differences. School of Medicine Dean John Conger, PhD, launched a successful effort to expand the program, garnering support from Gov. John Love, the Colorado legislature, and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. The concerted effort resulted in the creation of the JFK Child Development Unit and B. F. Stolinsky Lab, with early guidance provided by Donough O’Brien, MD, FRCP, and Joseph Rossi, MD.
In 1965, federal funding was obtained to develop programs that were precursors to the current Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) and University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (hence the acronym UCEDD) programs. Rossi was succeeded by Drs. John Meier, William Frankenburg, and Bonnie Camp. The Center’s international reputation was furthered in 1967 when Frankenburg and Josiah Dodds published the Denver Developmental Screening Test.
JFK Partners became an interdepartmental program of Pediatrics and Psychiatry in 1993, with Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg and Randi Hagerman, MD, named co-Section Heads of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Pamela McBogg, MD, served as medical director of the clinical program after Hagerman’s departure.
In 2009, Sandra Friedman, MD, MPH, was hired to re-establish the Section, now named Developmental Pediatrics, and also served as associate director of JFK Partners. In 2015, she was chosen to direct JFK Partners and led its integration into the Section of Developmental Pediatrics.
Recent achievements include significant increases in faculty and staff, number and types of clinical programs, patient visits, age ranges served, and research funding. The Section obtained ACGME-accreditation for its Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics fellowship program and is a Collaborating Research Entity for two national research networks.