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The Child Health and Development Project (CHDP): MS Thrive!

The Child Health and Development Project (CHDP): Mississippi Thrive!, is a collaborative agreement with the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). It is a joint project between the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) - Children’s of Mississippi and the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) of Mississippi State University (MSU). The goal of Mississippi Thrive! is simple: to support the development of children ages birth through five by working to improve our state’s behavioral health system for young children. We do this by partnering with early childhood educators and healthcare providers to encourage the active promotion of early brain development; regular, professional checks on children’s development; and connections to services when needed. Respectively, Mississippi Thrive! supports an interdisciplinary (e.g., occupational; speech/language; psychology; social work; and medical) fellowship program. The Mississippi Thrive! Fellowship provides intensive training for post-graduate clinicians in early childhood behavioral and developmental health through formal lecture series and direct service provision at Center for Advancement of Youth (CAY) and local schools. Once per week, fellows conduct interdisciplinary evaluations at CAY under direct supervision of fellowship faculty for concerns such as autism spectrum disorder, developmental delays, behavioral problems (e.g., temper tantrums) and more.


For more information about Mississippi Thrive!, please visit For more information about the fellowship program or Mississippi Thrive! Clinic, please contact Fellowship Directors, Dr. Courtney Walker (; 601-984-2697) or Dr. Dustin Sarver (; 601-815-5994).