On November 5, 2009, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh attended a ribbon cutting for the Bette Blauner Center for Parents and Children at the Bellevue Hospital Center.
A key part of the work of the new center will be the Video Interaction Project (VIP), which provides parents with film footage of their interactions with their children. This footage is then analyzed by doctors and parents in order to provide constructive input regarding how to use parent-child interactions to strengthen childhood development. The project especially aims to help parents and children in lower income families, where greater economic pressure and other factors associated with limited financial resources may contribute to the demonstrably greater risk among such children for developmental delays, reading problems, and failure in school. The VIP program is nationally recognized for its potential to help poorer parents and children improve parenting skills and avoid these problems.
Other projects associated with the Bette Blauner Center include a dedicated space for assessment of children with developmental disorders, counseling and assessment for parents, Child Life and Development specialists, and other preventative parenting programs.
The center is named for Bette Blauner, a longtime board member of Children of Bellevue, which was founded in 1949 to advance the interests of children and families at Bellevue Hospital. Mrs. Blauner, who passed away in 2005, was an avid supporter of the Video Interaction Project and childcare programs during her time with Children of Bellevue. Speakers at the event included Mrs. Blauner’s son Stephen Blauner, Children of Bellevue Chief Development Officer Barbara Paxton, and VIP program director Doctor Alan Mendelsohn.