Gauging Value from ECHO Stakeholders

As the director of the new NIH program, Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO), I am privileged to have the opportunity to work with some of the country’s best scientists to identify, quantify, and explain how early environmental factors give rise to salient health outcomes of the pre- and perinatal period and during childhood and adolescence. My first job is underway: a listening tour to understand how the many ECHO stakeholders think the program can be most helpful to their constituencies and to society.

Concurrently, reviews of submitted grant applications are taking place. From initial peer review through awarding grants before this fiscal year ends on September 30, hundreds of individuals—from the broader scientific community as well as within NIH—are putting in extraordinary efforts to launch this complex program. We appreciate your contributions immensely!

My professional background includes, initially, working as a med-peds primary care physician in a community health center and then as an epidemiologist studying the earliest origins of health outcomes across the life course. I look forward to applying my experience, along with the complementary expertise of program staff we are now hiring, to help ECHO meet its great potential. Together with leadership from the other components of ECHO, we accept the public’s trust to shepherd ECHO to success.

Matthew W. Gillman, MD, SM