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Brenda T. Hussey-Gardner, PhD, MPH

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:



110 South Paca Street, 8-S-140

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-6003


(410) 328-1076

Education and Training

1981-1985       BS       Special Education from University of Maryland. College Park, Maryland

1985-1987       MA      Special Education from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1985-1987       MPH    Maternal & Child Health from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1991-1995       PhD     Early Childhood Special Education from University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland


Dr. Hussey-Gardner is a clinician, univeristy instructor, author, presenter and advocate.


Dr. Hussey-Gardner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where she is a developmental specialist. She has more than 25 years of clinical experience with infants, toddlers, and their families. Dr. Hussey-Gardner evaluates the development of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NCIU) and she sees patients in the NICU Follow-Up Program. In both settings she provides parents with strategies for fostering development through play and during daily routines. If needed, Dr. Hussey-Gardner links families with early intervention services in their community.

University Instructor

In addition to teaching pediatric residents and neonatology fellows about development, Dr. Hussey-Gardner holds an adjunct position with the Psychology Department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on developmental psychology, parenting, children with disabilities, infant assessment, early intervention, and infants born prematurely. Anonymous student reviews consistently rank her as one of the top instructors at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Author & Presenter

Dr. Hussey-Gardner has been the author or co-author of 13 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and she has co-authored 2 tex tbook chapters. In addition, she has given 108 invited speeches at national, regional, and local conferences; 71 peer-reviewed, national and regional presentations; and has participated in 28 television, radio, magazine or internet interviews regarding child development. In addition, Dr. Hussey-Gardner has developed and published a number of resources that are used by professionals serving infants and toddlers, and by the families themselves. These publications include: Understanding My Signals: Help for Parents of Premature Infants (currently in its third edition), Taking Care of Me: Help for Parents of New Babies, Parenting to Make a Difference: Your One to Four Year Old Child, Best Beginnings: Helping Parents Make a Difference, and PPOD: Parents & Pediatricians Optimizing Development. She is also the creator of the Best Beginnings Developmental Screen, a tool for screening developmental milestone attainment and quality of performance in adaptive, social-emotional, fine motor, cognitive, language, and gross motor domains of children from birth to 39 months of age.


Dr. Hussey-Gardner has a history of advocating for children with developmental delays in Maryland. She has been a member of the Maryland State Interagency Coordinating Council since 2006, an Executive Board member since 2007, and in 2011 she became the Chair of this council whose job is to advise and assist the early childhood intervention and education system of services in Maryland. At the state level, she has conducted research to substantiate and change high probability conditions for early intervention eligibility in Maryland. Her research led to inclusion of infants with chronic lung disease and surgical necrotizing entereocolitis. In addition, Dr. Hussey-Gardner led the effort to create the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program Physician's Guide, released in 2009. Her advocacy work related to the use of adjusted age for infants and toddlers born prematurely resulted in a Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) change in 2013. Locally, Dr. Hussey-Gardner has been a member of the Baltimore City Interagency Coordinating Council since 1996 and was the Chairperson from 1997-2001.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Developmental evaluations of infants and toddlers, developmental outcomes of infants born prematurely, early intervention, fostering development of infants and toddlers, parenting

Highlighted Publications


Hussey-Gardner BBest Beginnings Developmental Screen. Baltimore, MD: 2005, 2006.

Hussey-Gardner B. Understanding my signals: Help for parents of premature infants. 3rd ed. Palo Alto, CA: VORT; 2008.

Hussey-Gardner B. Best Beginnings for Parents. Palo Alto, CA: VORT, 2016.

Additional Publication Citations

Peer Reviewed Journals (since 2006):

Hussey-Gardner B. Family Centered Care in the NICU. eNeonatal. November 2008; 6(3):27.

Baschat AA, Viscardi RM, Hussey-Gardner B, Hashmi N, Harman C. Infant neurodevelopment following fetal growth restriction: relationship with antepartum surveillance parameters. Ultrasound Obstet GynecoI. 2009 Jan; 33(1):44-50.

Hussey-Gardner B, Famuyide M. Developmental Interventions in the NICU "What are the Developmental Benefits? NeoReviews. March 2009; 10(3); e113-e120.

Donohue PK, Hussey-Gardner B, Sulpar LJ, Fox R, Aucott SW. Parents perception of the back-transport of very-low-birth-weight infants to community hospitals. Journal of Perinatology. 2009; 29:575-581.

Donohue PK, Hussey-Gardner B, Sulpar LJ, Fox R, Aucott SW. Convalescent care of NICU infants in community hospitals: risk or benefit? Journal of Pediatrics. July, 2009; 124(1):105-11.

Hussey-Gardner B, Fleury M. Maryland's PRIDE: A state-of-the-art early intervention program for preterm and medically fragile infants. The Forum: National Association of Perinatal Social Workers. Fall, 2013.

Rose L, Herzig L, Hussey-Gardner B. Analysis of current trends and changes over time early intervention programs across the nation. Peds Review. January, 2014.

Hobbs J, Hussey-Gardner B, Donohue PK. Pediatric perspectives: Caring for NICU graduates in the community. Contemporary Pediatrics. December, 2015

Hobbs J, Jennings J, Tschudy M, Hussey-Gardner B, Boss R. Baby Steps: A Post Discharge Home Visiting Program by Neonatology Fellows. Pediatrics Supplement, Feb 2016; 137 (Supplement 3); 489A.

Falck AJ, Moorthy S, Hussey-Gardner B. Perceptions of Palliative Care in the NICU. Advances in Neonatal Care. June 2016; 16(3): 191-200.

Research Interests

Dr. Hussey-Gardner's developed the Best Beginnings Developmental Screen, Family Questionnaires and Parent Handouts used in the University of Maryland’s NICU, NICU Follow-Up Program, and Maryland’s PRIDE. In addition Best Beginnings was used in the Maryland's Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge Grant. Dr. Hussey-Gardner also developed PPOD (Parents & Pediatricians Optimizing Development), a personalized online tool for parents to help them monitor and foster their child's development. 

Grants and Contracts

Since 2000, Dr. Hussey-Gardner has received over $2 million dollars in grants to operate and study The Maryland's PRemature Infant Developmental Enrichment (PRIDE) Program. This program provides early intervention services in collaboration with the Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), NICU Follow-Up Program and general pediatrics practice at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital.

In the News

Television, Radio Magazine & Internet Interviews

1993, July                   Parenting to Make a Difference: Book Promotion, The Morning Show, WMAR-TV, Baltimore, MD

1993, September       Guiding Behavior, Sleeping Through the Night & Toilet Training, The Morning Show, WMAR-TV, Baltimore, MD

1993, November        Parenting Babies, The Morning Show, WMAR-TV, Baltimore, MD

1996, March               Setting Limits, Up to the Minute News, CBS-TV, New York, NY

1996, May                  Baltimore City Infants & Toddlers Program, WJFK-Radio, Baltimore, MD

1998, July                  Baltimore City Infants & Toddlers Program, WXYV-Radio, Baltimore, MD

1998, August             The Infants & Toddlers Program, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

1999, November        Parenting Infants & Toddlers, Arlington Community Cable-TV, Arlington, VA

1999, December        Maryland’s PRIDE:  A Unique Collaboration between UMMS NICU & Baltimore ITP, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

2000, October           Child Development, Idle X-Change, Arlington Cable-TV, Arlington, VA

2000, December        Maryland’s PRIDE, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

2002, January           Interview regarding study from Case Western Reserve published in the New England Journal of Medicine;                                      the study examined behavioral & educational outcomes to age 20 of very-low-birth-weight infants; Reuters                                    TV, Baltimore, MD

2002, September      Kangaroo Care, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

2003, July                 Toddlers Take to the Toilet: Help with Toilet Training, Baltimore’s Child

2003, August            Toilet Training, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

2003, September      Sleeping Through the Night, WBA-TVL, Baltimore, MD

2004, March              When to Worry as Your Child Grows Up, WBAL-TV , Baltimore, MD

2004, March              What Should Your Child be Able to Say? Milestones Can Help You Know When to Worry, WESH, Orlando, FL

2008, November       Baby & Toddler: Fostering Your Child’s Independence, Baltimore’s Child

2009, January           Beyond Babbling: Cultivating Toddler Conversation, iParenting                               

2009, January           Fostering Your Toddler’s Independence, NE Ohio

2009, March              Preemie Signals: Early Communication & Parent Education, Cover Story, Advance for Speech-Language                                          Pathologists & Audiologists

2009, April                Purposeful Play, Toto Junction online

2009, October          5 Baby Sleeping Tips, Tehran Times: Iran’s Leading International Daily

2011, May                The Early Years: Why Do Preschoolers Play Dress-Up? Baltimore’s Child Magazine

2011, May                Tips to Help Put Baby to Sleep, WBAL-TV 11 Caring for Kids

2011, December      Aggression & Preschoolers, Baltimore’s Child Magazine

2014, January         PPOD, Baltimore’s Child Magazine

2016, June              New Program Designed for Tiniest, Sickest Babies: Goslings, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, MD

Professional Activity


1994                            Member, State of Maryland Special Instruction Task Force

1996-1999                   Member, State of Maryland Transition Task Force

1997-2000                   Member, Maryland Interagency Coordinating Council Training & Recruitment Sub-committee

2001                            Member, Maryland State Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) Focus Group

2006-present              Member, Maryland Early Intervention State Interagency Coordinating Council; Executive Board: 2007-                                             present; Co-Chair: 2010-2011; Chair 2011-present. Led effort to create Maryland Infants & Toddlers                                               Program Physician’s Guide, released March 2009. Led effort to institute COMAR legislation regarding use of                                     age adjustment for infants born prematurely, legislation implemented July 2013.

2008-2016                   Member, Maryland Premature Infant Health Network

2011-2012                   Member, Maryland Early Childhood Developmental Screening Task Force

2012                            Member, Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program, Regulations Workgroup

2012-present               Member, Governor's State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care

2012-present               Executive Committee, Ready at Five

2012-2014                   Member, Maryland Early Childhood Screening Consortium

2013-2015                   Member, Maryland Task Force on Teacher Education in Early Childhood Education

2015                            Member, Professional Development Master Plan Workgroup for Teachers and Providers of Early Childhood                                       Education in Maryland


1986-1988                   Consultant, JAGTECH Automated Coding System

1988-1989                   Consultant, Georgetown University Medical Center, Video Training Program for Neonatal & Pediatric                                                 Nursing & Medical Staff

1993-1995                   Consultant, University of Maryland NICU, Newborn Individualized Developmental Care & Assessment                                                Program Training Group

1994-1995                   Consultant, Academy Child Development Center

1995-present               Member, Baltimore City Interagency Coordinating Council; Chairperson: 1997-2001

1995-2012                   Member, Baltimore City Private Providers Group

1996-2000                   Baltimore City Interagency Coordinating Council Service Delivery Committee; Chairperson: 1996-1997

1997-Present               Member, Baltimore City Interagency Coordinating Council Public Awareness Committee; Chairperson:                                             1996-1997

1997-2001                   Chairperson, Baltimore City Interagency Coordinating Council Nomination Committee

1998-2001                   Member, Baltimore City Early Childhood Umbrella Group

2001-2008                   Member, Training Committee, Baltimore City Interagency Coordinating Council; Chairperson 2001-2008

2002-2006                   Coordinator, Baltimore Annual Early Intervention Conference

2010-2011                   Member, Assessment Task Force for Baltimore City Infants & Toddlers Program