HHD Announces Creation of the Capital Area Health and Human Development Institute

October 24, 2005

(Harrisburg, Pa) — The Penn State College of Health and Human Development announces the creation of the Capital Area Health and Human Development Institute (CAHHDI), the new urban research, training, technical assistance and outreach arm of the College in the Harrisburg area. The Institute will be directed by Dr. Richard Fiene, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies.

CAHHDI is a leader in higher education-based infant and toddler program quality activities and prevention research interventions in the United States. This new, integrated center which includes the Capital Area Early Childhood Training Institute, Harrisburg Center for Healthy Child Development and the Urban Community Partnership under the CAHHDI umbrella has been established to coordinate research, training and technical assistance activities underway in the Harrisburg and South Central Pennsylvania areas. It will serve as the hub for faculty and students in the College of Health and Human Development who seek internships, research and training opportunities in the Harrisburg area.

The Institute has ten areas of emphasis:

  1. To develop mentoring programs for caregivers of young children;
  2. To develop college-credit infant-toddler, preschool, director, special needs, social emotional development and home based certificate programs;
  3. To evaluate other mentoring programs to determine their effectiveness;
  4. To complete early care and education quality studies;
  5. To be responsible for all early care and education activities within the Penn State College of Health and Human Development;
  6. To coordinate all early childcare training and technical assistance activities within South Central Pennsylvania;
  7. To provide policy-relevant information on best practices in infant-toddler care to federal, state and local governments;
  8. To provide assistance to communities on the development, implementation and evaluation of early care and education programming;
  9. To conduct research and evaluation of various human service programs; and
  10. To conduct public policy research studies related to children, youth and families.

Dr. Fiene, a research psychologist, has spent his professional career conducting community-based research on childcare quality. His research at the national and state levels has centered on childcare licensing, early childhood program accreditation and childcare/early childhood development training systems and their impact on childcare quality, in particular infant childcare. Dr. Fiene is a member of the American Psychological Society and the Society for Research in Child Development, and is a Fellow of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.

Before becoming the CAHHDI director, Dr. Fiene was the director of the Division of Licensing Systems & Research, Office of Licensing and Regulatory Management, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare; a special assistant to the Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Office of Children Youth and Families, co-chair of the Cross Systems Licensing Project, Pennsylvania Departments of Public Welfare, Aging, and Health; and training director for the Child Care/Early Childhood Development Training System.

Visit the CAHHDI Web site at: www.hhdev.psu.edu/cahhdi or contact Dr. Fiene for additional information.

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Editors: Dr. Fiene can be reached at rjf8@psu.edu or 717-233-5276. The Institute will hold an invitation-only inaugural event on Thursday, November 3, 2005 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. If you would like to cover the event please contact Dr. Fiene by Monday, November 1, 2005.