About Us

The Georgetown University Early Intervention Professional Development Center is a component of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD). The GUCCHD’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all children and youth, children with special needs, adults with developmental and other disabilities, and their families. A division of Georgetown University’s Department of Pediatrics, the Center is founded on an interdisciplinary approach to service, training, research, community outreach, technical assistance, and public policy.

In keeping with that mission, the Early Childhood Division is designed for early intervention and early childhood professionals across disciplines.  It is a workforce development project that brings together our many training resources to support and enrich the knowledge and skills of service providers, administrators, and policy makers in providing family-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, community-based systems of services for infants, toddlers, and young children with developmental delay or disability in the District of Columbia and across the country. 

What We Do
Faculty & Staff

What We Do

The first five years of life are a time of unparalleled change in the brains and abilities of young children. All families need access to a wide range of services and support to promote healthy development. Additionally, some families need specialized services to mitigate risk factors or address problems young children may experience.

The Early Childhood Division is committed to bridging the divide between what is known among researchers and practitioners to be effective and what is available in communities for young children and families. We work at multiple levels to ensure that there is actual translation between evidence-based and best practice knowledge and "real world" implementation.

The Early Childhood Division at GUCCHD is involved in a wide array of activities that support young children's healthy development:

Faculty & Staff

Anika Aquino

anika aquino

Anika Aquino is a Project Researcher in the Early Childhood Division at Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development.  She graduated summa cum laude from the Catholic University of America (CUA) in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a minor in Spanish.  In her undergraduate career, she worked in a number of university labs, including CUA’s Physiology, Affect, & Cognition Lab, the University of Maryland’s Child Development Lab, as well as in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Section on Growth & Obesity.  Prior to working at GUCCHD, Anika also interned at Children’s National Health System’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Units, shadowing the Educational Coordinator while working with admitted children and teens on their coping skills.  She was a University Scholar, studied abroad at Oxford University in England, and was inducted into international and national honors societies while in college.  She is also certified bilingual in Spanish, and remains an active member and supporter of several Filipino organizations and communities.

At GUCCHD, Anika is working on a project funded by the DC Department of Health surrounding the evaluation and professional development of home visitation services in the district.  She is also working on a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the provision of mental health consultation and other social and emotional supports in informal child care settings.

Anika is interested in child development, especially regarding early intervention, family systems theory, and resilience building in children.  She is enthusiastic of her work, eager to learn more and further her own professional development.

Ms. Aquino can be reached at aka83@georgetown.edu or at 202-687-5389.

Bruno Anthony, PH.D.

Bruno Anthony

Bruno Anthony is the Deputy Director of the GUCCHD. Dr. Anthony provides overall leadership for program development at the Center including new directions and initiatives shaping the Center's activities and cultivating and maintaining collaborative partnerships within and outside of the University. He provides strategic support to teams in developing goals and integrated work plans, and reviews these goals and plans with each team to ensure that there is effective coordination.

Dr. Anthony also serves the Center through his roles with the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry as a Professor, Vice Chair for Pediatrics Research, and Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Research. Additionally, he is the Senior Scientist for the MedStar Health Research Institute. In these roles for the university, Dr. Anthony builds and implements health services research and evaluation projects to enhance outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and adults.

Dr. Anthony may be reached at bja28@georgetown.edu.

Rachel Brady, PT, DPT, MS

rachel brady

Rachel Brady is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Director of Information Dissemination at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD). Dr. Brady is the Project Coordinator for the DC Comprehensive System of Personnel Development and the Georgetown University Certificate in Early Intervention.

Dr. Brady’s passion is advocating for and sharing her expertise in early childhood intervention. Her publications and products include topics on assistive technology, learning content in pre-service curricula, and information about services and supports for children with disabilities. Her advocacy for better policies to support individuals with disabilities and their families across the life span has included local and national testimony on behalf of more inclusive early childhood and educational programs.

Dr. Brady has been an early childhood intervention service provider since 1991 and is a certified trainer for Routines Based Home Visiting and Routines Based Interview. She mentors service providers across disciplines in providing contemporary early intervention practices and building relationships with families and early childhood educators to enhance service delivery. She consults with teachers in an Early Head Start/ Head Start program in the District of Columbia that serves families who are homeless, insuring that all children are provided with accessible, developmentally and age appropriate services and supports.

Dr. Brady’s mentorship and leadership extends to professional associations including the American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Pediatrics. Dr. Brady was the Secretary of the Section from 2012 to 2015, member of the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012 and a Member of the Practice Committee. Currently she represents the American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Pediatrics for the IRIS Center, IDEA Partnership and the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education.

Dr. Brady can be reached at rab9@georgetown.edu.

Neal M. Horen, Ph.D.

neal horen

Neal Horen is the Director of the Early Childhood Division at the Center for Child and Human Development, and the Director of the HOYA clinic in the Department of Psychiatry. In that capacity he oversees the Center’s efforts in early childhood including work in professional development, technical assistance, research and evaluation and clinical services.

Dr. Horen has been a leader in the field of early childhood mental health for the last two decades. He has assisted all states, a number of tribal nations and territories and hundreds of communities in development of systems of care for young children and their families. Dr. Horen has provided technical assistance and is considered one of the country’s leading experts in the development of a system of care in early childhood. He is the lead on early childhood for the National TA Network.

In addition, Dr. Horen has co-led the Center’s efforts around Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. He serves as co-lead of the National Center of Excellence on Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and lectures extensively across the country. He has led a number of state and community efforts to build their mental health consultation services. Dr. Horen co-leads the mental health efforts on the Head Start National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. He presents across the country on issues related to early childhood mental health including addressing challenging behavior, addressing trauma in young children and their families as well as staff wellness.

Dr. Horen is a licensed child psychologist and continues to provide services to young children and their families. In that capacity, Dr. Horen continues to provide therapeutic services and provide mental health consultation services. He works closely with other members of the Department of Psychiatry in coordinating services and supports for families.

Dr. Horen can be reached at horenn@georgetown.edu or at (202) 687-5443.

Amy Hunter, MSW, LICSW

amy hunter

Amy Hunter is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development. Currently, she co-leads the mental health section of the Head Start National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. In this capacity Ms. Hunter develops resource materials and provides training for Head Start and child care leadership and staff on mental health of children, families and staff. She is co-author of Competencies: Infant/Toddler Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, a national set of competencies for mental health consultants. Ms. Hunter is also faculty and co-lead on the SAMSHA funded National Center of Excellence on Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation where she develops materials and guidance for state leadership on administering high quality infant/early childhood mental health consultation.

Previously, Ms. Hunter served in many positions at ZERO TO THREE including as the Director of Program Operations for the Early Head Start National Resource Center and the Project Director for the Infant Toddler Center on the Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CSEFEL) project. Ms. Hunter is a primary author of the Promoting Social Emotional Competence of Infants and Toddlers, CSEFEL Training Modules, 1st and 2nd Editions.

Ms. Hunter’s passion is developing materials and sharing her expertise in early childhood mental health. Her publications, trainings, and products include the following topics: infant/early childhood mental health consultation, social emotional development of young children, trauma/toxic stress, resilience, family engagement, maternal depression, challenging behavior, infant toddler care, stress management, positive discipline and reflective supervision.

For over 20 years Amy has been involved in early childhood mental health including providing training and technical assistance on early childhood mental health to individuals and groups around the country. Amy maintains a small private consultation practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC where she lives with her husband and two boys.

Ms. Hunter can be reached at ah1122@georgetown.edu.

Diane Jacobstein, PhD

Diane Jacobstein

Diane M. Jacobstein is a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Policy Associate in the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development-UCEDD, and Research Associate Professor in Pediatrics.  She has worked with young children throughout her career, including more than 30 years on faculty. Dr. Jacobstein has extensive experience as a clinical supervisor, therapist, diagnostician, and trainer in early childhood settings. Her ongoing work as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for more than 20 years is in a Head Start/Early Head Start program that serves families who are homeless. She is part of a research team focused on supporting mothers of young children in emergency shelter. Her consultation work with states and communities addresses needs of children with co-occurring developmental disabilities and mental health needs, including very young children and their families.

Dr. Jacobstein previously worked with infants, toddlers and young children in a wide variety of other settings.  For many years, she served as the psychologist in Georgetown’s Autism and Communication Disorders Clinic, Pediatric Mobile Clinic, pediatric cancer, renal disease and intensive care units, as well as a general pediatrics practice.  She has been part of several Georgetown initiatives related to young children living in poverty and in shelter. She has a special interest in trauma-informed services and public policy related to developmental disabilities and under-served communities.

Dr. Jacobstein’s doctorate in clinical psychology was from The Catholic University of American in 1982. Her undergraduate degree in psychology and English literature was awarded, with honors, from Clark University. 

Dr. Jacobstein can be reached at jacobstd@georgetown.edu

Toby Long, PhD, PT, FAPTA

toby long

Toby Long is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Georgetown University, the Director of Professional Development at the Center for Child and Human Development, and the Director of the Georgetown University Certificate in Early Intervention Program. Dr. Long is also the Director of the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development for the District of Columbia’s early intervention program, Strong Start.

Dr. Long has been a leader in the field of early childhood intervention for over 35 years. She has held leadership positions within Georgetown University, professional associations, and in the DC community. Within the American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Pediatrics, Dr. Long served as President (1999-2001), Board of Directors (1996-2000), Membership Committee Chair, and Delegate to the American Physical Therapy Association House of Delegates (2004-2014). Under her leadership, the Section created Pediatric Physical Therapy, the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated solely to pediatric physical therapy, of which she served as its first Editor (1989-1994). She was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of University Centers of Excellence in Disabilities from 2010-2013. She is currently a member of the DC Interagency Coordinating Council and serves as the Chair of the Legislative and Social Policy Committee.

Dr. Long is the recipient of a variety of prestigious awards including being named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow by the American Physical Therapy Association in 2009, the Lucy Blair Service Award from the American Physical Therapy Association, the Jeanne Fisher Distinguished Mentorship Award from the Section on Pediatrics, and the Bud Dehaven Award from the Section on Pediatrics.

She currently sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Early Intervention, Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, and Infants and Young Children.She is the author of 60 peer-reviewed publications including The Handbook of Pediatric Physical Therapy, Second Edition.

Dr. Long can be reached at longt@georgetown.edu or at (202) 687-8742.

Deborah Perry, Ph.D.

deborah perry

Deborah Perry is the Director of Research and Evaluation and an associate professor at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Dr. Perry’s research focuses on approaches to designing and testing preventive interventions for low-income young children and their caregivers. One main focus of her research is the prevention of postpartum depression in women in home visiting, WIC and prenatal care.

Dr. Perry has been with Georgetown University for the past decade where she has helped establish the evidence based program for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation in early childhood settings. In addition, Dr. Perry serves as the evaluator for DC’s MIECHV award.

Early in Dr. Perry’s career she provided national technical assistance (TA) for the implementation of Public Law 99-457—the legislation that created the Infants and Toddlers program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. She has also served as the national TA provider for SAMHSA’s Project LAUNCH initiative and the Project Director for the Office of Head Start’s national Center on Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. She has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed and scores of translational publications and edited a book on integrating mental health into early childhood systems. She has a Ph.D. in maternal and child health from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree in psychology.

Dr. Perry can be reached at dfp2@georgetown.edu.

Lauren Rabinovitz, MPH, MSW, LCSW-C

lauren rabinovitz

Lauren Rabinovitz is a Research Associate at the Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development, Early Childhood Division. Currently she is working on an evaluation and professional development project with the Department of Health in DC on Home Visiting. Previously Lauren was the coordinator of an online Mental Health Consultation Professional Development Continuum as part of the National Center on Health funded by Head Start. She was also the project lead of a multimedia trauma-informed care resource tool for national dissemination and the coordinator of a secondary data analysis of a five year waiver funded by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare on community alternatives to psychiatric residential treatment centers for youth. Ms. Rabinovitz brings a unique perspective to policy and research at the Center based on many years of clinical experience. She has worked as a Clinical Case Manager in the District of Columbia Foster Care System and as a Mental Health Consultant at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Center for Infant Study providing expertise to families and program staff at the largest Head Start in Baltimore City regarding children’s mental health.

Ms. Rabinovitz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with specialized training in Early Childhood Mental Health. She studied Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park, Clinical Social Work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore and Maternal and Child Health at The George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services. She is passionate about the intersection of population health and early childhood.

Ms. Rabinovitz can be reached at lar99@georgetown.edu.