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Annual meeting features individual stories & the impact of generosity

November 15, 2023

Nearly 100 participants joined an annual meeting hosted by the Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) on November 8, 2023 to gather YCSC Associates and other community members together and feature the multi-faceted work of the center. The annual event has been held for nearly 40 years and was convened in person until 2020, when the format shifted to the Zoom platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the fourth fully virtual meeting.

As has been the case for the last few years, the meeting included supplemental content through a virtual poster session, pre-recorded “mini-talk” videos, and select publications. The three-hour live event featured four panels in line with the theme, Growing a Pipeline to Improve the Lives of Children and Families Through Innovative Research, Service, and Training.

YCSC Chair Linda Mayes, MD opened the meeting by welcoming attendees, stating, “This has been a remarkable year for the Child Study Center with so much clinical activity, with so many children in need. It’s been a remarkable year for our research, with new grants, and new discoveries – and we're always very enriched in July to have our new fellows come and join us for our educational mission. This year, we're trying another format…where you have a chance to meet many members our faculty and our fellows.”

Mayes continued to explain how this year’s meeting became centered around stories related to the impact of the contributions of others to the work of YCSC faculty and fellows. “We want to actually be able to tell involved with us, whatever way you've been involved with us, how you've made an impact on our community,” she said, “and the many ways that you shape careers, by your support – financial support, colleagueship, the ideas you give us, the networks that you help us make.”

With this, Mayes introduced the first panelists for the afternoon, who shared stories with interweaving themes around the interface of clinical work with research, team-based approaches, working with families facing stigma and barriers to accessing care, ensuring access for all. The speakers on the second panel shared stories around launching new research and innovation, including clinical developments.

Following a break, the third panel was introduced to share stories around multi-generational work with complex conditions and within complex systems, as well as intergenerational mental health through an interdisciplinary lens. The final panelists of the afternoon shared stories related to heterogeneity and a move away from "one fits all" perspectives, illustrating that, in fact, one size doesn't fit all – with a focus on customizing treatment and patient care through translational examples and personal stories, as well as ground-breaking work illustrated through patient stories.

One of the final panelists, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Program Eli Lebowitz, shared an extraordinary story of what led him to the YCSC, where he started as “the anxiety postdoc” and he spoke of three types of generosity related to his career trajectory – generosity of philanthropy, mentorship, and collaboration.

Lebowitz concluded his story in a powerful way, by sharing that, “my message is that if you can be generous in any of these ways, do it – not just for our center, our department, but for every sphere in your life. Maybe there is somebody that you can mentor. Maybe there is a new collaboration that you can form that can prove to be more than just the sum of its parts as so many collaborations really do. And maybe you can support financially the outcomes that you want to see in the world. We have a lot more things to do.”

The supplemental virtual poster session and pre-recorded “mini-talk” videos feature a variety of additional topics, from emotion regulation and violence, the effects of parental singing on infant health, how adolescents feel at school, evidence for social-emotional leaning, and more.

Information about upcoming events will be posted on the YCSC website when available. To receive notification about this and other YCSC events in your inbox, please subscribe to YCSC Connections.

Submitted by Crista Marchesseault on November 14, 2023